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Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough: "We are still here"

Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have sent out the message that despite the coronavirus preventing face to face meetings, they are still here to help.
Photo: Pixabay

Kari Payne, Head of Communications, said: “The Healthwatch information service remains up and running, and we’re also still listening and want to hear from people across Cambridgeshire and Peterborough about their NHS experiences – what’s working well or what needs improving.

“All health and social care services across our area have been affected by the coronavirus pandemic, from GPs and hospitals to home care and mental health services. As a result, there’ve been a lot of changes for people.

“One area that has affected a lot of people has been the suspension of most non-essential care, and so some Minor Injury Units have closed their doors temporarily.

“This has happened at Wisbech and at Doddington MIU, with staff being redeployed to provide extra support in other parts of our local NHS.

“Healthwatch are a vital organisation, set up by the government to listen to people who use health services so that they can be improved.

“And so perhaps more than ever, we need to have the knowledge, your health and care experiences, how have you been affected by the changes? We’d really like to hear people’s experiences.

“Only through an understanding of how people are coping with the coronavirus will be able to improve our health care services and the NHS, should anything like this ever happen again in the future.”

Local Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough is representative of local people community it serves and different users of services in the way in which it exercises its functions

They have powers to request information from NHS commissioners and providers of health and social care and to enter health and social care premises, but also signpost people to information about local health and care services and how to access them.

Kari Payne went on to add: “Obviously we are all learning to do things differently in this emergency and for everybody’s safety we have stopped all face to face meetings.

“But we stay in daily touch with our army of volunteers, who in turn know their own community and the issues within them.

“We are asking people to contact us through our website and the newly launched Peterborough website to give us the vital benefit of their different experiences while coronavirus is being fought.

“Maybe you’ve had an online consultation, something that you may have never done before? Or, maybe you’ve been able to access a service by video link, or had care or support from an extraordinary volunteer?

“If so, we’d like to hear about it so that we can share what you tell us with the people planning the local and national response to coronavirus.

“Only through working together can we improve our already wonderful NHS and health care services.”

Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Peterborough can be reached at:

By Rob Alexander

Local Democracy Reporting Service