Here at Healthwatch Bucks we all (volunteers and staff) work very hard. However, there is a lot to do and we need to look for ways to be as effective as possible. One of those is to learn from other organisations. We have been fortunate to have the perfect opportunity for this recently when some of us (volunteers and staff) went to the Healthwatch England Conference.
The theme of the conference was “the value you bring” – and it was focussed on how local Healthwatch add value across the country. Healthwatch Bucks took a divide and conquer approach and made sure that our delegates attended as many sessions as possible. These ranged from sessions focussed on working with volunteers and adult safeguarding, to the role of the CQC through to hearing the voice of young people. The latter was an insight into a great project run by Healthwatch Wokingham, working with a local secondary school to understand children’s mental health concerns – just one of many amazing things being done by our fellow local Healthwatch across the country.
We’ve come back with lots of ideas not only about new projects, but also about how to work more effectively on behalf of the people of Buckinghamshire. I think we all had some “why didn’t I think of that?” moments. And we have already taken our first action as a result of what we learnt – providing a link to the NICE care pathways on our website – an invaluable resource for people who need to know what recommended care is for a huge range of conditions, from bed sores to diabetes – a small step – but an important part of our signposting work for the people of Buckinghamshire.
You can find out more about the conference on the Healthwatch England website.