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Mental health, ambulance responses and dementia form Healthwatch Norfolk priorities for the year

PUBLISHED: 08:51 31 March 2014 | UPDATED: 08:51 31 March 2014

Alex Stewart, chief executive of Healthwatch Norfolk.

Alex Stewart, chief executive of Healthwatch Norfolk.

Archant

A health watchdog has set out its priorities for the coming year, including a focus on mental health services, ambulance responses, and dementia care.

Healthwatch Norfolk was formed last April to champion local patients’ health and social care needs.

The organisation, which is based in Hethersett, has set out 14 priorities for 2014/15, which includes Healthwatch raising concerns with Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust over mental health inpatient bed capacity, delays in referrals and support for carers.

The charity will also be focusing on child and adolescent mental health services, community nursing, dementia, the performance of the East of England Ambulance Service, maternity services, personal budgets and unpaid family carers.

Staff and volunteers from Healthwatch Norfolk have taken part in almost 100 public events and represented patients and carers in Norfolk at well over 300 meetings over the last year.

The organisation has also published reports on child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS) in Norfolk where they have call on the referral process for vulnerable young people to be sped up.

Another Healthwatch Norfolk report also revealed that unpaid family carers save statutory services in Norfolk £1.6bn pounds a year and another report focused on residential provision for adults with learning difficulties.

Alex Stewart, Healthwatch Norfolk chief executive, said the charity would be working with those with direct experience of services to make sure they understand what is working well and where improvements need to be made.

“Healthwatch Norfolk is absolutely committed to being an effective, evidence-led organisation. These priorities for the coming year have come about through talking to people in Norfolk and understanding where they think changes need to be made.”

“We are convinced that the voice of patients, service users and the public is central to making services better. We are here to champion everyone who lives in Norfolk and make sure that their needs and priorities are reflected in the health and social care available to us in the future.”

For more information on the work of Healthwatch Norfolk, visit www.healthwatchnorfolk.co.uk

Have you got a health story? Contact health correspondent Adam Gretton on 01603 772419 or email adam.gretton@archant.co.uk

5 comments

  • One hears moaning minnies complain about Ambulance responses, but i have a completely different view. I am 74, and my wife73, she had a blackout and fell near the top of our stairs. 999 was called and an Ambulance was at my door as i put the phone down. it was impossible for me to lift her as i have stroke damage, but the Ambulance crew were exellent, i couldn't praise them enough. They revived her and made sure she was ok, got her to the Ambulance and took her to A&E, where again she got got brilliant care from both the Ambulance crew and the staff of the JPH.

    Report this comment

    Edmund Earle

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • One hears moaning minnies complain about Ambulance responses, but i have a completely different view. I am 74, and my wife73, she had a blackout and fell near the top of our stairs. 999 was called and an Ambulance was at my door as i put the phone down. it was impossible for me to lift her as i have stroke damage, but the Ambulance crew were exellent, i couldn't praise them enough. They revived her and made sure she was ok, got her to the Ambulance and took her to A&E, where again she got got brilliant care from both the Ambulance crew and the staff of the JPH.

    Report this comment

    Edmund Earle

    Monday, March 31, 2014

  • Edmund: The issue with targets for ambulance services is this: If I get to a job in 7m59s then I have hit the target. If I get there in 8m01s I have missed it. While every second counts in a medical emergency, its these seconds that ultimately will be focused on by groups like this, mps, minor local politicians and the media. The fact is that these targets will never be reached to a level that will keep everyone happy unless we have an ambulance in every village and town in the region, and this will always bring the negative comments. Glad you had a positive experience and I hope your wifeIis recovering well because of it.

    Report this comment

    Panda

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

  • While I will always welcome patient involvement and feedback I fail to see how a board with such little clinical experience can give patients the greatest voice, the CCG should have a control and the independent body representing patients should have clinical experience. We have enough trouble dealing wiyh 'Act on Ambulances' that turned out to be a front for a political campaign.

    Report this comment

    Panda

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

  • While I will always welcome patient involvement and feedback I fail to see how a board with such little clinical experience can give patients the greatest voice, the CCG should have a control and the independent body representing patients should have clinical experience. We have enough trouble dealing wiyh 'Act on Ambulances' that turned out to be a front for a political campaign.

    Report this comment

    Panda

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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