Healthwatch is the independent consumer champion for people who use health and social care services.
The role of Healthwatch is to find out people’s experiences of health and social care services with a view to making sure they are meeting people’s needs, and to suggest or call for improvements where needed based on people’s experiences.
Healthwatch have the power to make sure that people’s voices are heard by the government and those running services. As well as seeking the public’s views ourselves, we also encourage services to involve people in decisions that affect them. Our sole purpose is to help make care better for people. In summary, Healthwatch is here to:
- Help people find out about local care.
- Listen to what people think of services.
- Help improve the quality of services by letting those running services and the government know what people want from care.
- Encourage people running services to involve people in changes to care.
- Help people find out about local care.
Healthwatch is for everyone in our community – adults, young people and children. Every voice counts when it comes to shaping the future of services and improving them for today. Healthwatch will help people get the best out of their local health and social care services.
People often don’t speak up because they don’t think they can make a difference. We know that people can be unaware of the care and support that is out there. People can feel excluded from services and access to services and treatment isn’t always equal. Those who are least able to speak out will be heard through Healthwatch.
Every voice counts when it comes to shaping the future of health and social care, and when it comes to improving it for today. Everything that Healthwatch does will bring the voice and influence of local people to the development and delivery of local services.
Through our network of volunteers, working with existing voluntary and community groups, and our independent research, we can find out what matters to you most about health and social care. Together, your views and our expertise will help shape improvements for everyone.
We will use the information we gather to spot important local issues and trends. And we will carry out our own research into those issues that need more investigating, working closely with existing voluntary and community groups and the authorities.
Most importantly, we have powers in law which gives us influence. We will feedback what we discover to the authorities who have a legal responsibility to respond and use our findings to shape and improve services and feedback to you on the outcomes. This means you can be reassured that your views really do count.
Each local Healthwatch is commissioned and funded by the Local Authority. In Hull the organisation who has been commissioned to ensure the effective delivery of the Healthwatch Service is Hull CVS.
The Trustee Board of Hull CVS provides strategic leadership, promotes good governance and accountability on all contractual, legal and financial duties of Healthwatch.
Gareth Fletcher Communications Officer
I have been involved in the voluntary sector for eight years. My journey began in 2010 when I joined Hull CVS to support vulnerable adults as a Volunteer Support Mentor. In 2014 I began working for the Citizens Advice Witness Service where I managed a team of volunteers at the courts in Beverley, Bridlington and Hull to support witnesses and victims of crime.
In 2018 I joined KCOM as a Customer Service Advisor and took my experiences from the voluntary sector with me. During my time at KCOM I received praise for my level of customer service as I always wanted to achieve the best outcome possible for the customer.
I joined Healthwatch in 2020 as a Volunteer Coordinator as I felt the input from Healthwatch into local Health and Social Care services will make a fundamental difference and I want to support its mission. During my time at Healthwatch I have assisted in developing the way we operate and look to continue this into 2021 as the Communications Officer, expanding further how we reach out to the community and engage with them on their terms.
My Name is Julia, I am originally from Brazil however I relocated to London when I was 14 years old. Having come from a under developed country, I had many struggles through life. Luckily, I have a great family who guided me through to the right path. I have been involved in high level sport for most of my life and realised that sport provided me with unique opportunities. I graduated from the University of London with a Sport, Physical Education and development degree. Since graduating I have been working in different roles with always one objective: To help people. I want to be a facilitator and help people to break barriers that stop them from reaching services and opportunities.
I am passionate about helping people to create opportunities for themselves, and guiding people through difficulties. I hope that in my role at Healthwatch I will be engaging with as many people as possible and providing positive experiences for everyone.
Hilary Clarke Patient Experience Officer
Biography coming soon!
Our Independent Strategic Advisory Body (ISAB) are a strategic partner to the Executive team, bringing added independent lay insight, and overview regarding delivery of the annual strategic workplan, and contributing to safeguarding the probity and transparency of Local Healthwatch.
Our ISAB is made of the following individuals:
- Helen Grimwood (Contractual Lead)
- Conrad Thompson (Lay Representative)
- Jim Chase (Lay Representative)
- Matthew Handley (Lay Representative)
Conrad Thompson Lay Representative
I am a Senior Operations Manager for a local charity that supports people with severe learning disabilities and autism in the Hull and the East Riding region. Having previously worked for Yorkshire & Humber KIDS until graduating university with an MSc, I have many years’ experience of the Health & Social Care Sector.
I am interested and passionate about improving health and social care services within the local community. In particular, ensuring that people with disabilities have a voice and supported to share their experiences. I aim to use my experience and skills to promote and encourage positive changes and ensure people’s feedback is heard.
I am very enthusiastic to be involved and look forward to contributing to Healthwatch Hull.
Jim Chase Lay Representative
Jim has lived in Hull with his family for over 30 years and is now semi-retired from a career in technology and business leadership. Jim brings to the advisory board an in-depth experience of NHS and Social Care technology delivery, many years of board level leadership across a wide range of organisations and 15+ years experience as a foster carer to many young people.
Jim’s role on the ISAB is to support the Healthwatch Hull team as it helps commissioners and providers understand the impact of their service design, delivery and behaviours through the experience of patients, service users and their families.
Matthew Handley Lay Representative
I am currently Head and Neck Business Manager for Doncaster and Bassetlaw Teaching Hospitals Trust, overseeing the operational management for Ophthalmology, ENT, Oral Surgery and Orthodontic Services. I first started working in the NHS in 2016 at Hull University Teaching Hospitals before moving into a commissioner environment. I am pleased to have worked in acute provider, community care and commissioner settings as this has helped me develop a sound knowledge of different healthcare pathways for patients – and importantly, how these are commissioned with engagement from service users.
Since starting in healthcare I have taken a strong interest in learning of and supporting change in primary and acute services, especially for our local population of Hull. Especially now more than ever (post-Covid) I am both proud and excited to support Healthwatch Hull in ensuring the Hull population has a voice and are supported to share their views through the stages of service restoration and redesign.
Under the Healthwatch regulations, local Healthwatch organisations have the power to ‘Enter and View’ providers so that our Enter and View Ambassadors can observe how services are being delivered.
The purpose of the visits are to identify good practice that can be celebrated and shared with others, and to identify any issues raised by service users. Enter and View is not an inspection; we do not look at care plans, medicines management, etc. The Care Quality Commission (CQC) look at the clinical aspects of a service. Enter and View gives a voice to the people using a service and asks them what they think of the service they receive and whether it is working for them.
Organisations must allow an Ambassador from Healthwatch to ‘Enter and View’ and look at how services are being provided, as long as this does not affect the care being delivered or the privacy and dignity of people using services. Providers do not have to allow entry to parts of a care home which are not communal areas or allow entry to premises if their work on the premises relates to children’s social services. We are also not permitted to ‘Enter and View’ local authorities’ social services for people under the age of 18.
What happens on a visit?
Enter and View visits can be announced or unannounced; it will depend on why we are there. If it is announced, a member of the Healthwatch team will contact the provider in advance and let them know about the intended visit. A small team of Healthwatch volunteers will come to observe the service. They will all have received training and will all have had a DBS check.
They will ask staff, service users, and family members if present, some questions in a friendly and informal style about their experiences of the service. Some questions may relate to experiences of health and social care services more generally.
After an Enter and View visit, a short report will be written up and shared with the provider of the service. Recommendations may be made in order to help make services better for the people who use them. The report may also be shared with relevant commissioners and be put up on this website.
Who can Enter and View?
Enter and View Ambassadors are ordinary people, often without previous experience in health or social care. However, they are all interested in giving people a say in the services they receive.
In order to become an Enter and View Ambassadors, individuals need to:
- Complete an application form
- Attend an interview
- Undertake a DBS check
- Complete the training detailed below.
Our Enter and View Ambassadors receive full training to equip them with the skills needed to carry out Enter & View visits, including:
- Enter and View Training
- Safeguarding Training
- DBS (Disclosure Barring Service) Check
- Equality and Diversity Training (not compulsory but completed by all representatives)
Our Enter and View Ambassador will wear an official badge to identify them when they are visiting a place for us.
Interested to find out more?
If you have any questions or would like further information about Enter and View visits, as a provider of services or as a service user, speak to one of the team.
Alternatively, if you are interested in becoming an Enter and View Ambassador, please see our Volunteering page.
Our current Ambassadors are listed below:
Individual names will be added as appointed