As part of Volunteers Week 2019, we are celebrating our volunteers, and their successes with Healthwatch West Sussex.
Katrina Broadhill, Healthwatch West Sussex Manager says
Most of our volunteers work tirelessly under the radar for Healthwatch West Sussex. Having said that, they willingly don a pink logo shirt and promote what we do and work hard helping us to gather valuable insight from local people.
Whilst we have defined volunteering roles, we share all sorts of opportunities for people to be involved and encourage people to have a try at different things. We have volunteers support short term projects and a team of regular volunteers who are very much at the heart of what we do. People help us from home and out in the community – so there is something for everyone!
One of our priority areas is General Practice and Community Care. Our team of volunteers worked with the team to visit EVERY community pharmacy in the county during one week in the Autumn of 2018.
They looked at and recorded information about the availability and suitability of consultation rooms whilst also providing information for customers and patients about Healthwatch West Sussex. Volunteers also helped to promote the use of confidential consultation rooms for enquiries and general health and wellbeing chats with a qualified pharmacy practitioner.
We are now in the process to putting together a ‘Youth Pack’ to be sent out to schools and colleges to help students have the conversation about their mental health, their local health services and how they can help to make services better for the future.
This whole pack wouldn’t have started without the inspiration of our two young Volunteers we had last year.
Volunteer Liaison Representatives attend committees, groups and forums as formal representatives of Healthwatch West Sussex to ensure that local insight and peoples voices are heard and truly listened to.
In 2018 we our representatives attended hundreds of meetings and events and as our ‘Influencers’, they are key to achieving our role of holding public services to account and ensuring local people’s views influence decisions and service improvement.
One of our priority areas this year is Adult Social Care. Our volunteers work hard visiting and supporting residential care and nursing homes to hear what the residents and relatives have to say. With this insight, we can help feedback and help improve services for the better.
Our volunteers attended 14 visits to acute hospital settings last year and have seen significant improvements following our feedback and SMART recommendations to the NHS Trusts.
Every day, our volunteers work with us to listen to the public’s feedback and help improve our local health and care services.
We couldn’t do our amazing work without them – thank you to each and every one of our volunteers. To round up our celebration, here’s a quote from Jo, our Volunteering Coordinator...