Wednesday, 8 January 2014

It’s the patient experience, stupid!

I have always thought that the main role of local Healthwatch was to collect the experiences of patient using the health and social care services.

But one of their board members is quoted in the minutes of their November board meeting as saying

 “Healthwatch Bucks could make a business case for the integrated collection, analysis & reporting of patient feedback across health and social service provision in Buckinghamshire”.

So why does this board member think Healthwatch Bucks needs to make a business case to do what it is contracted to do anyway?  By using the words ‘business case’ he is suggesting, in my opinion, that they should seek funding to do this job. 

They should be doing it now as part of their primary function, not asking for more funds!

I wonder if he has seen what Healthwatch Buckinghamshire says on its own website.

This statement is included as part of their ‘What we do’ section on the Healthwatch Buckinghamshire website

“Collect data and stories about the good and the bad, so we can use evidence based criteria to influence commissioning and policy.”

They expand on this theme in their ‘What will Healthwatch do’ section of the website:
“….seek the views of people about their needs for, and their experiences of, local care services.”
“Examine the quality of local health and social care services.”
“Make the views of local people known, and reports and recommendations about how local care services could or ought to be improved, to people responsible for planning, providing, managing or scrutinising local care services.”

Even the CCG has something to say on the issue:
In their draft paper on the Review and Development of our (AVCCG) Commissioning Intentions they say:
“(the CCG will) Work closely with Healthwatch to expand the feedback we receive on patient experience from direct observation and feedback from patients, clinicians and the public including those from hard to reach communities. “.

It is high time Healthwatch Buckinghamshire stopped talking and got on with its primary function.

Go out and collect the experiences of patients and carers of health and social care service provision.

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