Healthwatch Bexley has a key role in formulating views on the standards of health and social care provision and identify where services can be improved, or to raise issues which commissioners and providers may not give due attention to.
A key role of Healthwatch is to enable local people, particularly vulnerable and seldom heard groups, to have their say and to make those voices known to decision makers, commissioners and providers.
Mental Health is a key area of work for Healthwatch Bexley. In February, Healthwatch Bexley undertook a snap shot study of the Recovery Service, provided by Mind in Bexley, based on 25 interviews with service users. The purpose of the study was to explore the impact accessing Recovery Services has on wellbeing and quality of life and to what extent it enables individuals to cope with everyday life, build relationships and be part of their community. The study also explored to what extent accessing Recovery Services keep people out of secondary care. The study demonstrate that accessing Recovery Services has a positive impact on individuals and crucially, to a large extent, it keeps people from having to access secondary care.
During spring and early summer, Healthwatch Bexley chose to conduct Enter and View visits into acute inpatient services for working age adults (18-65) in partnership with Healthwatch Bromley and Greenwich. Visits to Oxleas House and Green Parks House was made in February and May. Our most recent visit took place on 7th July 2016 at The Woodlands Unit, Bexley inpatient assessment and treatment service and was undertaken by five Authorised Enter and view representatives (AR’s). The ARs visited Milbrook and Lesney Wards to observe the environment, take part in therapeutic groups and speak with patients and staff. Patients were invited to be interviewed by Healthwatch, these interviews were entirely voluntary and anonymous. The ARs interviewed 19 patients in total. Staff also completed 3 self-questionnaires, this data will all be compiled into the final report. Some of the information gathered includes; “Yes I feel safe all the time on the ward” “Staff are polite and make time to talk to you” “the smoking pod should be open more often, people get frustrated if they cannot have a cigarette”. The report from the Woodlands Unit will be available in October on Healthwatch Bexley’s website where the reports from Oxleas House and Green Parks House can be accessed.