Making the patient voice heard across Health and Social Care in Hertfordshire – Our Annual Report for 2020/21

Read about our efforts during the past year to ensure the patient voice was heard amid the Covid-19 pandemic and improvements made to Hertfordshire services as a result.
Healthwatch Hertfordshire written on a pink balloon
At Healthwatch Hertfordshire, our role has never been more important and your feedback is an essential part of restoring and, in some cases, transforming the health sector. As shown in this report, NHS organisations, health workers and those who deliver services are very keen to hear the patient voice. They are asking for feedback, listening to what people are telling us and are grateful for the input that we can provide. Going forward this is what we will build on and our role will continue to influence changes and respond to individual needs.
—  Geoff Brown, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Hertfordshire

Achievements 

Covid-19 led to unparalleled changes in healthcare, social care and the ways we work as an organisation. This report highlights our achievements and the innovative methods we used to overcome challenges and bring about improvements for patients.

  • Gathering information about patient experiences locally during the pandemic to achieve meaningful change in key areas such as communication, support, dentistry and mental health.
  • Research into attitudes toward the Covid-19 vaccination programme across Hertfordshire.
  • Increased use of online technology that led to digital exclusion for some people, which is being addressed locally and at a national level.
  • Working with the learning disability community in Hertfordshire to improve the uptake and quality of Annual Health Checks for service users.
  • Improvements to NHS care for Hertfordshire veterans, as a result of our research.
  • Work to understand the health and wellbeing needs of children and their families living in the most socio-economically challenged areas of Stevenage.

Some highlights from our year:

  • Our staff spent 391 hours and 45 minutes signposting
  • We engaged with 1,187 people and 1,072 people shared their health and social care story with us
  • Our free newsletter was sent to 3,615 subscribers
  • We received 106 compliments from the public and partners
  • We suggested 43 improvements which were adopted by services to make health and care better in our community
  • We attended 51 Chair and Chief Executive meetings, as well as 45 different Boards and Committees, providing patient views to influence providers and commissioners.

Moving forward, we will use our role as an independent organisation to hold services to account and influence change as the NHS and social care tackle their recovery programmes.

The pandemic has highlighted serious inequality issues and impacted disproportionately on particular groups and communities, so a focus on health inequalities will also be a major strand of our upcoming work.

To find out more about our work during the year download the full Annual Report 2020/21 here.

If you require this report in another format, please get in touch.

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