Healthwatch North Somerset recently took over neighbouring areas Bristol and South Glos with a mission to raise the profile of our work, getting feedback from hard to reach parts of the community as well as showing people how their feedback really makes a difference to services locally as meaningful outcomes. We also aim to highlight ways where the public can be equal partners designing local health and social care services – known as co-production.
In South Glos, Maisy aims to link up with organisations that work with people with learning disabilities to gather feedback on using digital health services such as making appointments. The second topic is to raise awareness of how to drink responsibility so the message is clear to people in all groups, possibly putting together a toolkit to put up in surgeries in the area.
We were also pleased to hear from Jacob Ayre about Swan Advocacy's health complaints advocacy service and how they help navigate people through what can be a difficult and timely process to give them the best possible outcomes.
South Gloucestershire Councillor Ben Stokes also congratulated Healthwatch's new team and said its ability to work as a bigger organisation working across all three areas was significant and could bring about important outcomes.