Message from Frances Hasler, Healthwatch Camden Director

Last week at Healthwatch Camden 

Every week, Healthwatch Camden gets involved in work across a range of topics and organisations. Some of the events we go to are an opportunity to meet local people to find out what you think about health and social care. Some are about making sure that we share what local people have told us in Camden’s decision making forums.  And some are helping us to learn about national policy or good practice that can be used in Camden.

These are the things we were involved in outside the office in one week in February:

·       CPPEG (Camden Patient and Public Engagement Group) steering group and open meeting. The open meeting looked at out of hours and 111.

·       Community Education Provider Network(CEPN) – we are represented on the steering group for this project, which aims to support integrated care through commissioning training, initially focusing on nurses and healthcare assistants. We lead the group on local population needs.

·       Stakeholder Engagement Group – this is a sub group of the Health and Wellbeing Board, of which I am the Chair. The meeting heard an excellent presentation from Voluntary Action Camden (VAC) projects – 3 health advocates and 1 mental health champion. They highlighted the power of local people providing information and advice, and combining a huge amount of knowledge and know-how, in a very accessible way.

·       Camden Carers event at Haverstock School. 

·       Camden Prevention Steering Group – this is a public health initiative, and includes the concept of a single point of access for all ‘healthy lifestyle’ services.   

·       Complex additional needs commissioning group – Anna Wright our Policy and Insight Manager followed up on our report on specialist children’s services.

·       Conference on electronic records in the NHS – to find out what the plans are.

·       Camden CCG board seminar – attended by our chair, Connie Smith, looking at their future plans and the application to be a ‘vanguard’ for trying out new models of service.

·       Dementia friends training for Bengali speakers – co-presented by Shelly Khan (as part of our collaboration with VAC)

·       Opening the doors to Citizen Engagement – a national event, initiated by CSV (Community Service Volunteers) – looking at the role of volunteers in linking care homes and communities. Discussion centred on the importance of linking volunteer input to the personalised outcomes that care home residents want.

·       Patient co-production meeting at University College London Hospitals (UCLH).

Every week is different. Apart from our external work we are always busy developing our work internally. For example, researching the priority topics we will report on, following up to make sure our recommendations are acted on, responding to information queries, developing our website and supporting our volunteers.

I look forward to meeting you at our local community events and meetings.