Place Category: Health & Social Care
- Website & Social
- Social Impact Declaration
- Social Impact Statements
HealthWatch South Tyneside is an independent organisation set up to champion the views of patients and social care users in South Tyneside, with the goal of making services better and improving health and wellbeing.
We are a dedicated consumer champion, working with users of local NHS and social care services to hear about your experiences, identify any issues or problems and help generate improvements.
At a local level, feedback and suggestions from users will be used to shape health and social care services in South Tyneside.
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Social Impact Statements
The Social Enterprise Mark criteria includes a requirement that the applicant can demonstrate that social and/or environmental objectives are being achieved.
In support of this, new applicants and renewing Mark holders are asked to respond to a set of social impact questions, which are designed to help them think about the social impact they create, and to articulate this clearly and succinctly.
Updated October 2019
1) What social differences and changes have you aimed to create (or supported)?
Healthwatch are required to operate in accordance with 9 statutory activities. In the case of Healthwatch South Tyneside this has been supplemented by a requirement in our contract, laid down by our commissioning body South Tyneside Council, to influence the work of the local health service commissioner and NHS providers to ensure that their work reflects the views of the borough's residents.
The issues, needs improvements, benefits and lasting differences we are working hard to influence are summarised in our operational plan. In addition, we have been granted an Awards for All Lottery Grant which is being used to set out a strategy to attract members of the community who don't usually get the opportunity to become volunteers.
Your examples ask us to consider big changes and needs we are trying to address; at the large end of the scale we are actively influencing the redistribution of services between the district general hospitals in South Tyneside and Sunderland. Across the borough we have sought to influence the services for Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services, via our Young Healthwatch Volunteers. We are involved in the co-design of a new model for the delivery of palliative and end-of-life care services which has been set following the unexpected loss of the much-loved local hospice. The aim here is to ensure the new model, given the nature of the service, respects local people’s views and is better than the model it is replacing. Nationally we have produced work linked to embedding the Accessible Information Standard in all the public information put out by NHS and Social Care organisations and feeding back public survey work to our parent body, NHS England, with local residents views of NHS Long Term Plan.
See our annual report, which will provide a greater insight into purpose and outcomes of our work.
2) What actions have you taken to address the above social aims?
Awards for All Project: this work is at an early stage but the promotional video we have produced to spread the word that target individuals and groups has received acclaim from our sister organisation in West Dorset and their kind comments have been published on Facebook.
Transforming Hospital Services: we have appeared at two out of two public listening panels. The panel consisting of all the senior decision makers in the process and chaired by a director from the National Consultation Institute; we are the only organisation to be invited to speak to both panels. As a consequence of the case made at these appearances the lead NHS body for overseeing the change has agreed to present their plan and take question at a Board meeting at which we will host all Healthwatch across our Integrated Care Service area which covers 3 local authorities. We also hold membership of the advisory strategy group to represent the public voice to decision makers.
Children and Adolescent Mental Health Services: we set up and delivered a local Question Time event at which questions derived via Young Healthwatch were answered by a panel of key players from across commissioners and providers of mental health services, public health, the voluntary sector and higher education.
Palliative and End-of-Life Care: We made sure we participated fully in the co-design process and enabled the public voice to be heard via a focus group. Joined the commissioners work stream on education, training and development. In Addition we have had bilateral meetings with CEO of South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, the responsible body for the co-design, and monitored developments vis presentation and report at our public board meetings.
Accessible Information Standard: As members of the local NHS Trust's Patient and Carers Experience Committee we made sure our report was considered by the full committee. It was agreed that a task and finish group should be set up to embed the Standard across the Trust.
NHS Long Term Plan: 240 surveys were completed and the summary fed back to NHS England who will collate this work nationally and, in turn, feed it back to NHS England; this will affect the implementation of national policy. The local area reports will be published widely and displayed on our website so that local people will see what they said has made a difference. We have picked out the number of surveys because we achieved a top 5% return on surveys even though we are one of the smaller Healthwatch.
3) What has changed and what benefits have been realised as a result of your actions?
Urgent Care Hub: A well-used and much appreciated local Walk-in-Centre was closed in Jarrow by the Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), as a matter of policy on the basis that a more comprehensive and higher quality service would be provided from an Urgent Care Hub located at the general hospital in South Shields. There was much consternation from the local population at the closure and Healthwatch started to pick-up information that the service was not working well. In addition to the work mentioned earlier, Healthwatch undertook, what we call, a “Check the Pulse” review which is a short sharp piece of work designed to reveal areas that need to be improved. Healthwatch made several recommendations; importantly about the lack of medical staff, inability to run the service for the times scheduled, its poor layout and cumbersome booking in procedure. We followed this up, a year later, with a “Check the Pulse Review” and found that the majority of our recommendations had been implemented and the service was running as it was designed to run.
Accessible Information Standard: the work to embed this in the local NHS Trust which, covers South Tyneside and Sunderland has been completed.
Palliative and End-of-Life Care: our in-put into the co-design process will ensure the views of the residents will be built into the process. A discussion with the CEO of the CCG, who are doing this for the first time, has ensured that when the process is reviewed it will be refined due the comments we have made on behalf of the lay people who took part in the process.
Transforming Hospital Services: this is a contentious issue and Phase 1 was the subject of a Judicial Review; brought by a local campaign group. So, it's a small but crucial impact to notice the language in the Phase 2 documentation has changed to bring out that this is not just, as strap-lined, a Path to Excellence, where focus is perceived to be on the Sunderland District General Hospital but it is a two way process and South Tyneside and Sunderland are seen to be equal partners in the transformation, from which, both populations benefit. We believe this is, in part, due to the arguments we presented to the commissioners Public Listening Panel; a recording is available on You Tube.
4) How do you and other people know your aims are being achieved? Or how will you know?
Operational Plan: For the first time in 2018 we did an operational plan which acts as our forward look for three years. The objectives are based on: what residents have told us is important to them, and priorities laid down by local health and social care partners, guidance from Healthwatch England and the contents of the NHS Long Term Plan.
Enter and View: As part of our statutory role we have the power to enter and view almost all health and social care premises, with or without notice and undertake an observation and information gathering exercise. A report, containing recommendations, is produced and signed off at a board meeting. The report is then sent to the occupier of the premises where the services are provided with the expectation that the recommendations will be implemented. If we have continued concerns about the service or the recommendations are ignored, without good reason, we then have the power to bring this to the attention of the CQC who may carry out their own inspection and require the provider to implement any changes the CQC supports or face sanctions or temporary or permanent cessation of operations.
Health and Wellbeing Board (HWBB): Every local authority is required to establish and chair a HWBB. The Board for South Tyneside is chaired by the Leader of the Council and its membership is made up of all the key decision makers in health and social care and the voluntary sector. We are a member of the Board and our reports are presented to it. The Board also receives and endorses our operational plan and the Leader of the Council, as chair of the Board, represents our commissioner.
Revisit and Review: As stated earlier we revisit and review our work and the action that has been taken as a consequence of the recommendations made. The Check the Pulse report of the Urgent Care Hub at the District general hospital is an example of our engagement work.
How do we know and other people know our aims are being achieved?
How we know:
- Our operational plan is reviewed regularly by the manager with the staff team and twice a year progress and any need for changes to the plan are reported formally to Healthwatch Board. Each year the plan is refreshed with the board and the staff forming an inclusive review team
- Through feedback from the residents of the borough and our partners and our parent organisation Healthwatch England; all of whom have the opportunity to read and comment on our annual report
- By checking, through review and revisit, whether or not action has been taken on our recommendations
How other people know:
- We publish all our work via our website and on Facebook
- We are required to produce and publish an annual report
- We feedback to local people at engagement and local community events
- We use social media to publish our work via video
The below questions are not mandatory, but Mark holders are encouraged to answer them where possible, to provide a fuller account of their social outcomes and the social value they create.
5) What examples can you provide of a typical service user experience, that helps illustrate the benefits they have experienced as a result of your actions?
See our annual report for examples of how we have made a difference.
6) What additional social benefits have you been able to deliver within your core services that distinguish you from other “for shareholder profit” providers?
Enter and view is unique to Healthwatch.
We are in a select few of Healthwatch that devote as much resource to young people via Young Healthwatch.
Our volunteers and how we seek to support them.