Busy year for Healthwatch Tameside

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Healthwatch Tameside have held their annual AGM and health debate at the New Charter offices in Ashton.

Hosted by chair Dr Kailash Chand and CVAT Chief Executive Ben Gilchrist, the event was well attended with around 50 people gathered to debate the implementation of healthcare in Tameside.

Questions on a wide range of topics were fielded by a panel of experts, with many questions posed on the new ‘CareTogether’ initiative.

The group’s annual data report has also been formally adopted by Tameside’s Health and Wellbeing Board. The report has collected 770 pieces of patient experiences in 2014 and they will now be used to decide the commissioning of future services.

In his speech, Dr Chand stated: “ It’s been another busy year for Healthwatch Tameside. In addition to our usual work we have seen huge changes emerge in our local health and social care landscape.

“Greater Manchester Devolution is going to see significant changes for local people and local services. We have worked closely with our Healthwatch partners across Greater Manchester and with Healthwatch England to make sure that the voices of local people are listened to by the Devolution team.

“In Tameside our local plans for the integration of health and social care are gathering pace.
“Care Together will see a transformation of our local hospital as well as services in the local communities around Tameside. Again we are working hard to help people’s voices to be heard.
“Tameside Hospital itself has seen a huge step forward this year and was officially taken out of Special Measures by Monitor and the Care Quality Commission.
“I am incredibly proud of the work that our staff team and volunteers did in helping to gather the experiences of patients and the views of the public in this context.
“Our independent perspective was praised by the regulators and the hospital’s leaders as helpful in understanding the impact of changes and improvements that were made.
“I am also proud that our annual data report has been formally adopted by Tameside’s Health and Wellbeing Board as part of the evidence base for the Joint Strategic Needs Assessment they have a duty to produce. This means that the 770 pieces of patient and service user data we collected in 2014 are now part of the formal process that shapes the commissioning of future services.
“In 2015 our staff and volunteers collected a further 890 patient and service user experiences. That’s 1,660 individual experiences over years – providing us with strong evidence about what’s working well as well as where improvements can be made.
“Our Help with NHS Complaints service has grown also during the year. We have now helped with over 150 cases in two years and our active caseload is regularly more than double the level it was when we took over this service in April 2016.
All that remains is for me to thank our Board, staff and volunteers for their dedication and hard work throughout the year. They make Healthwatch Tameside the successful organisation that it is.”