We were delighted to launch our annual report at an event that was so well attended. Attendees included members of the public, volunteers and representatives from key organisations across the local voluntary, health and social care and statutory sectors.

Proceedings were kicked off by Jenny Baker, Healthwatch Bucks Chair, who was delighted to welcome Jane Mordue, Interim Chair of Healthwatch England.  As a local person, Jane was pleased to be back on her “home patch” and gave everyone a real insight into how Healthwatch England works to support the 148 local Healthwatch, including Healthwatch Bucks, as well as seeking to influence the development of Health and Social Care policy at the highest level.  She particularly emphasised the value for money delivered by Healthwatch Bucks as a small organisation working across an area with a sizeable population to represent people’s voices in a way that makes a real difference to our health and social care services.

Jane Mordue speaking at the annual report launch

Download our Annual Report 2015-16

Thalia Jervis, Healthwatch, Chief Executive, gave an overview of the Annual Report , which was followed by two “insight” sessions.  The first one focussed on our Patient Participation Group Project with a presentation from Jonathan Flower, PPG Chair at Carrington House Surgery.

This was followed by an insight into our Dignity in Care Project from Alison Holloway, the project manager describing our programme of visits to local care homes, which ultimately enables us to rate each one on their provision of “Dignity in Care” and make recommendations highlighting good practice or areas for improvement.  We had a great presentation from the Care Home Manager at Avondale, Shaun Canavan, who said” I advise all care home managers to link in with Healthwatch Bucks” based on his experiences.  He also told us how he had established a “sit and see” representative responsible for seeing how dignity and respect is being delivered in his own care home to continue the work of Healthwatch Bucks.  This was coupled with a very moving story from one of our volunteers, Janice Milson, who talked about how she had personally seen dignity in care make a real difference to her friend as she searched for a care home under very difficult circumstances.

The second “insight” session focussed on the work done by Healthwatch Bucks Project Manager, Victoria Young, supporting the establishment and development of Patient Participations Groups.  The guest speaker for this session was Jonathan Flower, Patient Participation Group Chair at Carrington House Surgery, who described the challenges and successes for a really active Group and how they worked with their surgery effectively.  He also described how he would “look to Healthwatch Bucks to help develop technique and measure effectiveness”.

Our strategy for 2017 and beyond

Thalia Jervis then kicked off the Healthwatch Strategic Planning Process asking participants to start thinking about Healthwatch Bucks strategy for April 2017 and beyond – and to consider questions such as:

  • What would you change about the aims of Healthwatch Bucks?
  • What should Healthwatch Bucks do more of?
  • What should Healthwatch Bucks do less of?

If you have thoughts on these questions and the direction of Healthwatch Bucks but were unable to make it to the general meeting, please do comment by emailing us at: info@healthwatchbucks.co.uk

It was an interesting and engaged meeting – and an extremely good reflection on what has been a year of real development for Healthwatch Bucks – the challenge is now to build on that excellent work, but as our chair Jenny Baker has said “we are travelling at speed in the right direction.”

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