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Healthwatch Peterborough publishes annual report detailing community success

The Healthwatch Cambridge and Peterborough annual report was released today, detailing the group's successes and challenges from the past 12 months.
Healthwatch Peterborough (and Healthwatch Cambridgeshire) have released an annual report for the 2019/20 year (Photo: Healthwatch)

Figures from the report reveal that the group spoke to 4,819 people at 155 events and workshops - 1,972 of whom were people from Peterborough.

Health and Care forums across Fenland, Peterborough, Huntingdonshire and Greater Cambridge have allowed local people to meet and discuss various services. Themes for the meetings over the past year have ranged from mental health to urgent care to podiatry. Adult Social Care Partnership Boards have been merged to work together on issues that affect all, but also to support different needs in different parts of the region.

The group has worked with the North West Anglia Foundation Trust to create a new patient group from minority ethnic communities to help shape policy and services at local hospitals.

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, over 800 people across the region were asked what they would do to improve the NHS locally. The main issues raised were:

  • easier access to GPs
  • more information and support on staying well
  • care closer to home
  • systems in place to prevent digital exclusion

This report will continue to be used by NHS and local government leaders to help plan future services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.

Community Values Panels were set up to help local services make decisions about how to reduce spending. The coronavirus pandemic has resulted in much of the deficit being written off by the government, but understanding what is most important to local people - as discovered in panels such as those set up by Healthwatch - helps the local clinical commissioning group (CCG) decide where to spend money.

Three Peterborough care homes have improved their facilities after visits from Healthwatch. These changes include making one home more dementia-friendly, hiring an extra activities co-ordinator and changing the seating so that residents could sit together more easily.

Val Moore, chair of Healthwatch, said: "Thank you to all our staff, volunteers, partners and the many people we hear from and support in the Cambridgeshire and Peterborough communities. Much but not all we do helps people straight away. Over the last year, we’ve been involved in two big pieces of work that have helped influence health and care services for the future.

"Our ‘What would you do?’ project on the NHS Long Term plan for Cambridgeshire and Peterborough has informed local plans and resourcing decisions for the future.

"We were also funded to create a brand new method for public engagement - the Community Values Panel. This innovative piece of work made an impact on the commissioners and the participants. And the final reports provided useful detailed feedback to support future commissioning decisions.

"The coming year will be dominated by the recovery from COVID-19 and numerous disrupted services. Our NHS and social care services will need to work ever closer together to care for people. As they continue to evolve new ways of working, we will ensure your voices are heard."