Your story has the power to make change happen.
As we publish our Annual Report 2016 - 17 we reflect on the year and see the incredible power people’s voices can have in helping make sure health and social care services meet our community’s needs.
Here are three examples:
Thanks off-islanders – with your help travel costs for off-islanders attending a mainland medical appointment are now covered and there is a scheme to reduce Isles of Scilly patient travel overall.
Volunteer board member, Jane Hurd responded to feedback from off-island residents. They told us about increasing costs of medical travel when having to use non-scheduled boat services in order to get to their appointments.
As Chair of the IOS Medical Travel and Transport Group; Jane raised the matter there, back in July 2014. The Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) studied the legislation and patient data with Healthwatch providing additional information. The case then went to CCG senior management and NHS England for guidance. The Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee (HOSC) discussed the matter with representation made by off-island Councillors.
In April 2016 the CCG agreed to fund off-island travel costs for mainland appointments, in line with Department of Health guidance. Restrictions on spending by CCG meant that savings would have to be found to offset funding of off-island travel and undertook a project to identify measures to reduce Isles of Scilly patient travel overall.
March 2017 a mechanism for payment of patient travel costs needed to be set up and the scheme was finally launched in May 2017.
Thanks for telling us about dental appointments – thanks to those who spoke to us about their experience of booking a dental appointment it is now easier for everyone.
Together you have improved the service during a period of change.
During the last eighteen months there have been a number of changes at our dental surgery, including a period of reduced cover, and different contact procedures for appointments and dental advice. We passed on feedback and made representation on behalf of patients, which resulted in adjustments to appointment systems.
Also, during this period we supported the service provider with timely information to the community, and supported patients who were trying to understand and navigate the new systems.
Thank you Five Islands School Student Council, together you have improved the availability of wellbeing literature for Young people.
Julia Day, volunteer board member, made it clear that she was less interested in what adults say is important to young people, and keener to hear from them directly.
Five students from the Five Island School Student Council ran their own Healthwatch board meeting and discussed items on our work plan. They came up with a number of recommendations which we have passed on, or have incorporated into our work plan. We were bowled over by their enthusiasm, views and ideas.
Since then Healthwatch Isles of Scilly has purchased a range of books from the Reading Well list for young people for Five Islands School, that are available to young people and staff. Also a range of Reading Well books are available at St. Mary's library for loan or can be ordered.
If you have an experience you’d like to share – no matter how big or small – we want to hear about it.
Our priorities for 2017 – 18
- Making sure you have your say
- System transformation
- Working with Children and Young people
- Ensuring people can access services
- Improving the experience of cancer patients