Healthwatch sets out plans for coming year
Healthwatch Isles of Scilly has outlined its priorities for this year, including adult social care and access to care for cancer patients.
In its just-released 2016/17 annual report, the independent patient champion said that it will be focusing its time and resources on several areas.
One is short, medium and long term Adult Social Care provision, about which it wrote: 'Last year, there was a crisis in local adult social care and residential provision. We met with service leads to receive an account of the situation and their plans for dealing with it. The service itself had flagged the problem and we were satisfied that all necessary procedures were in place regarding working with regulators, residents and their families, and the wider community.
'The crisis came during a long ongoing process of consultation and planning for future health and care provision on the islands. While looking ahead, we will continue to keep a watching brief on current provision through your feedback and our regular contact with services.'
The organisation will continue its focus on working with children and young people, including helping the Five Islands School Student Council to 'take on issues themselves by putting our contacts and resources at their disposal... and giving them a bigger voice in Healthwatch activity'. Further areas of attention will be facilities for people with a physical or sensory disability and dental treatments. It said of the latter: 'Your feedback, and our discussion with the service provider, has highlighted some apparent barriers to treatment or gaps in provision. We will take this up with NHS England this year.'
On access to care for cancer patients, Healthwatch said: 'We have already met with cancer service leads at Royal Cornwall Hospital Trust and will continue to work on what can be done to improve the experience of cancer patients.'
The non-profit company will conduct its occasional household survey again this year, which it considers to be a 'hugely useful barometer of current health and care provision and people’s views'. It will also work with Healthwatch Cornwall to provide input to the Shaping our Future Transformation Board, which oversees the process of planning for system change.
On statistics for the last year, the report revealed that Healthwatch received feedback from 302 people, either directly or via a survey; had 145 requests for information and advice; and held 36 meetings with services to discuss subjects including health and social care provision and travel & transport.
Healthwatch Isles of Scilly, set up and run by volunteers, is commissioned by the Council and aims to ensure that the 'views of the public and people who use health and social care services are taken into account'.