Message from Frances Hasler – Healthwatch Camden, Director

On 23 November we held our Annual General Meeting (AGM). During the event we welcomed a new trustee – Saloni Thakrar. We presented our annual report and accounts – Look out for our annual accounts and a report from the meeting in the next couple of weeks.

We had a good discussion about the borough’s joint Health and Wellbeing Strategy. MP Keir Starmer came hotfoot from the House of Commons and talked about human rights in mental health services. Read about what he said here

And we asked people what else Healthwatch Camden should be working on. You told us:

  • Gather and share information about services to support wellbeing.
  • Gather and share information on what providers are doing
  • Be strategic – create a dialogue on the NHS and our health
  • Look at what is happening as services are changed or cut – track the impact on people
  • Focus on diversity – be aware of the cultural context
  • Reach out to people who don’t get heard in services
  • Make dementia and care of the elderly a priority
  • Promote what you do more. 

We already have work in hand or planned on most of these areas. We will review what we do about dementia, using our priority assessment framework. And we agree that we need to promote what we do as widely and as loudly as we can. 

The idea I would like to focus on now is “creating a dialogue on the NHS and our health.”  We’d like your thoughts on how Healthwatch Camden should do this.

We get a huge volume of communication from the NHS (and elsewhere) about preventing ill health, helping people to look after their own health, helping people with long term conditions to have a good quality of life, and about preventing people from using A&E services for things that are not emergencies. (We share these communications with you via our daily and weekly news updates – contact us if you want to be put on the mailing list for the weekly updates.) We join in discussions with Camden CCG, NHS England and others about how to plan services better so that people have real alternatives to hospital care.

Which of these aspects of the NHS and our health is most important to you? Let us know what you think Healthwatch Camden should be saying about it.

Finally, would you like to come to an event to talk with NHS staff about some of these topics? If yes, contact us to let us know which ones or comment below.