Healthwatch Bucks turns 10 years old this week. During the past decade, we’ve heard thousands of stories from people in our community about health and social care – feedback that’s helped us make a difference to how local services are run.

To mark this special birthday, we want to celebrate the work we’ve done, the people who have helped us make a difference and the impact we’ve had on local health and social care.

In this article, we highlight 10 things we’d like the people of Buckinghamshire to know about who we are, how we work and what we do.

1. We’re your local health and social care champion

Healthwatch Bucks exists to help make sure that your experiences are at the heart of how health and social care are planned, designed and delivered.

Our purpose is to:

  • Listen to you, the residents of Buckinghamshire, so that we understand what you think about local services
  • Influence the right people to make sure your voices are heard, considered and acted upon
  • Improve the way health and social care services are commissioned and delivered.

Want to know more about our staff team and board of directors? Meet them here!

2. There are lots of ways to share your views with us… and we always want to hear them

You can tell us about your experiences in a variety of ways, and we value every piece of feedback we receive.

Call us on the phone, email us or head to a local event where you can chat with one of the Healthwatch Bucks team. Follow us on social media to stay up to date on where we’ll be and when.

If you have thoughts to share on a specific service or provider, you can rate and review them in our online feedback centre.

3. We’re independent

We’re an autonomous organisation, separate from those that buy, design and deliver health and social care services.

When we conduct research and make recommendations, you can be sure we’re working for you.

4. We’re responsive

Every year, we set annual priorities based on what we’ve learned about local people’s needs and experiences during the previous 12 months.

Here’s what we’ve agreed to focus on in 2023/24.

5. We want to make things fairer

We know that accessing health and social care is more difficult for some people – and that they may have poorer outcomes, too.

We’re committed to helping change that by focusing on health inequalities and the communities they affect.

6. We’re here to help

If you’re struggling to find a GP or dentist, aren’t sure which service you should contact or need help with making a complaint, we’re here for you.

Our local health and social care experts will be able to help you access whatever support you need.

Give us a call or check out our signposting content to get started.

7. Our research has impact

Over the past 10 years, we’ve conducted research on topics as diverse as maternity services, dignity in care, looked after children and young onset dementia.

Every time we complete a project, we write a report that is published on our website. This is also shared with the people who receive our recommendations for making care better.

You can read past reports, as well as the official responses we’ve received to them, on our website.

8. We have the power to enter and view

We have the power to enter and view health and social care providers. While an enter and view visit is not an inspection, they do allow us to look at what a service is doing well and how it could improve.

Enter and view visits involve speaking to people who use a service, as well as their carers and relatives, observing the nature and quality of the services on offer and reporting what we find out.

You can read about Healthwatch Bucks’ enter and view visits right here on our website.

9. We send a free monthly newsletter

Delivered to subscribers’ inboxes once a month, the Healthwatch Bucks newsletter includes updates on our projects, local health and social care news and tips on initiatives that will help you stay healthy and well.

Sign up to get yours here!

10. It’s easy to get involved

Healthwatch Bucks is a volunteer-led organisation, so we’re always keen to hear from local people who want to support what we do. Whatever your talent, there’s room for you at the table.

Right now we’re looking for new directors to join our board, and we’ll soon be recruiting for new, diverse volunteers who can help us reach people that we don’t often hear from.

Follow us on social media and subscribe to our newsletter to stay up to date.

Published on 28 Mar, 2023

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