Posted tagged ‘healthwatch’

Watching Healthwatch

February 21, 2012

We have discussed on this blog before about the benefits of moving about and becoming part of a wider local government family, and by living this ideal I recently came across something which has not really crossed my radar too closely until now.  On a semi-regular meet up with a colleague from another borough, I discovered the weird and wonderful world that is Healthwatch.

What’s that you say?  You’ve never heard of Healthwatch before?  Well, you certainly wouldn’t be alone.  This idea is part of the Health and Social Care Bill which is currently working its tortuous and controversial way through the system, and aims to replace LINks, or Local Involvement Networks.  What’s that you say?  You’ve never heard of them either?

LINks have been around now for a good few years, and have aimed to help local people have more of a say about the quality of healthcare in their area.  They are networks of people, usually hosted by a separate organisation and based around the involvement of volunteers.  Healthwatch apparently looks set to take these responsibilities and add some others into the mix, adding a little more teeth and a few extra pennies into the mix for good measure.

These may be very good intentions, but what hope is there really when so few people even know of its existence? (more…)

An unhealthy situation

September 29, 2011

Council staff may need to get that doctorate after all

My husband’s birthday is coming up soon.  I know it’s coming up, and that I will be expected to buy a nice present, perhaps cook a nice meal and maybe if he’s lucky arrange a bit of a party, but so far I haven’t.  Life’s been busy, other things have taken my time and attention and generally I’ve let it slide, no doubt to remember again a few days before and pick him up a ‘humorous’ card, a Chris Ryan novel and some random golf-related stuff.

In fact, I’m feeling very local government about it all.  You see, councils up and down the country are going through the same thing.  In 2013, the responsibilities previously undertaken by the PCT around public health will transfer lock, stock and anti-smoking barrel to their council counterparts.

2013 is just 15 months away.  If you were wondering, that’s 66 Mondays away from the day this post goes live.

But are we in the council ready?  Have we got long term plans and strategies in place to handle these changes, with work currently underway to prepare the ground for an influx of new officers and workstreams, working to understand how we can avoid simply tagging them on to other areas but really make them part of an integrated service and weaving them into the service delivery plans of their new colleagues? (more…)