activated patientI have been helping with moulding the shape of Healthwatch in Suffolk and similar work is going on across all the counties of England. So what’s it all about?

“Healthwatch will be an independent watchdog for people who use health and social care services”

“Healthwatch will help people get the best out of their local health and social care services, improving them for today and helping them shape tomorrow”

“Healthwatch will have an opportunity to exert strategic influence by working with decision makers”

One of Healthwatch’s key powers is to Enter and View hospitals and care homes…with recent news on poor standards of care a crucially important role. And if your parents (or yourself) are likely to end up there, wouldn’t you like to know that your local homes and hospitals have been checked out – or that you could ask for them to be looked over if you have had a bad experience??

Another role Healthwatch has is to “provide information about services” through a network of organisations…at the moment this is mainly focused at charities like AgeUK and MIND…but it would be great if we could get them to put BWY in the list as well.

So what can YOU do to help yourself as a current or potential user of health and social services?

Go to the national Healthwatch website, find your county Healthwatch and sign up to get their information. This means you will be invited to take part in surveys and focus groups or perhaps take a more active role…the more we work together to publicise the role that complementary therapies such as acupuncture can play in improving both mental and physical health, the better.

Click here to find Healthwatch Suffolk.

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