Message from Frances Hasler – Healthwatch Camden Director

This is our final blog for 2017, so I will start by wishing you all a happy Christmas and New Year.

Over the past year we’re met lots of you in the local community and have enjoyed strong working relationships.

Thank you to all our volunteers, local organisations and communities who have worked with us on various projects. We’re really pleased to have built new relationships including with local schools and our LGBT+ community.

We hope to continue this in 2018.

Co-designing urgent care

On 28 November, Healthwatch Camden co-ordinated an event to bring together local citizens, patients, carers, the voluntary sector and health and social care.

The aim was to make a plan for 7-day community services across five boroughs in North London. Good community services help people to live well at home, to stay out of hospital and to get out of hospital faster. They are an essential part of meeting urgent care needs.

The event was highly collaborative.

We learned the importance of squeaky ducks in co-design planning (you squeak one when someone uses jargon!). We also came up with a lot of shared ideas for how services can be developed.

The next step is to use the report from the event as a basis for some detailed work as part of the North London Partners Urgent and Emergency Care programme.

Some of the event participants are members of the Citizens’ Reference Group for the programme. They will be monitoring developments to make sure that the co-production work really does have an impact.  

Looking forward

The co-design event is just part of a very busy few months for us. Other things we are doing include visiting every GP surgery in Camden to give them support with providing accessible information; responding to plans for service change in mental health and researching the experience of end of life care. We are planning for our next five years and making a new strategic plan.

Our future plans rely on having future income, of course. We have had excellent support from London Borough of Camden to date, and we’re hoping to maintain that.

Meanwhile, very good wishes for an enjoyable and peaceful festive season.