The report provides an overview of all our work and achievements during this period, such as:
- The work we have done to improve people’s experiences of GP services and appointment systems, including our independent review of the care navigation system. This review has prompted the clinical commissioning groups to take action to improve the system, e.g. offering grants to GP practices to develop premises to promote better confidentiality.
- The impact that our Enter and View visits to hospital wards have had, including prompting County Durham and Darlington NHS Foundation Trust to initiate an Invest in Rest Charter, by highlighting the problems some patients were having sleeping due to noise.
- Receiving national recognition for two of our projects at the Healthwatch England awards. Our volunteer Tony Bentley won the #ItStartsWithYou award for his work on our project to improve the accessibility of information about County Durham care homes. Our work to engage vulnerable women in reviews of cancer screening programmes was also highly commended.
Download the full report to read more about our work last year, which also included an in-depth project with mental health service users and staff about how to improve mental health services.
The annual meeting in Spennymoor also included presentations from Levi Buckley, Director of Operations at Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust, and Neil Jarvis, Strategic Commissioning Manager at Durham County Council. We were delighted at the warm words Neil used to praise our work to engage local people in reviews and consultations about local services.
The meeting also featured several "speed-dating" sessions, where we shared key findings from some of our projects with attendees. Thank you to all those who attended for their enthusiasm and contributions!