Members of the Oxford City Patient Participation Group Locality Forum were given an insight into the work of public health and Healthwatch Oxfordshire at an open meeting in early July.
Rachel Coney, the Chief Executive of Healthwatch Oxfordshire explained, how they act as an independent voice for patients who have issues or concerns with the health care they receive or wish to make positive suggestions for improving services.
Rachel explained how they are trying to discover how well national standards around privacy and dignity are being met locally. They want to hear from people about their experiences in this area, and would also like health staff to share their views on the sort of things that can get in their way in providing the best dignity in care. To take part see the link below.
Members of the Forum asked Rachel a raft of questions on health issues. She described the role of the Support Empower Advocate Promote (SEAP) organisation – which helps people to make complaints on local health and social care services.
Rachel also explained that the focus on dignity was due to it being one of the 10 core standards that the Care Quality Commission expect health providers to meet, and described how local health organisations employ Directors of Quality to maintain standards and quality of care. Rachel outlined how Healthwatch was committed to improving services for patients with dementia.
Jackie Wilderspin, a Public Health Specialist at Oxfordshire County Council described the work of the Public Health team. Jackie said they can gauge the health needs of the local population based on regular surveys they carry out. Their work includes promoting and organising healthy life styles, NHS health checks, better sexual health and stopping smoking. Jackie described how they were tackling female genital mutilation in partnership with Thames Valley Police and how the health visiting service will be commissioned by public health from October 2016.
Michael Leech, the Chair of the Locality’s Forum, said: ‘We thank both Rachel and Jackie for taking the time to illuminate us on their valuable and important work. Members were given an insight into the sort of activities they carry out to keep us all fitter and healthier in Oxfordshire.’
To take part in Healthwatch Oxfordshire’s survey on privacy and dignity see here
For more information contact Julie-Anne Howe, Locality Co-ordinator email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Information about the Locality
There are 24 GP practices in the Locality with a population of nearly 200,000. The Clinical Director is Dr David Chapman who is supported by three deputies, Dr Karen Kearley, Dr Merlin Dunlop and Dr Andy Valentine.