Healthwatch Cumbria gathers the views of people about their needs and experiences of Health and Care services in a number of ways:
- We have a strong visual presence in the community and to make it easy for people to contact us when they have experiences to report.
- We attend public and community events staged by other organisations
- We go out into communities, working with established groups to hold meetings and events, gather evidence and ask for opinions on specific issues.
- We talk to individual members of the public through an extensive programme of outreach events in local supermarkets and markets.
- We can take up issues brought to us by local people.
- We publish regular information about our projects, how to get involved and our achievements on our website.
- We provide information and advice about accessing health and social care services and exercising choice in relation to those services.
- We help people to navigate their way through the system – giving advice and information.
Enter and View:
- We can use our powers to visit, announced or unannounced, places that provide health and social care services
- Our representatives are trained to talk with patients and users of services and observe the quality of care.
- We report and publicise what we find.
- Healthwatch Cumbria makes reports and recommendations about how local care services could or ought to be improved.
- We provide reports to commissioners and providers of care services, and people responsible for managing or scrutinising local care services and shared with Healthwatch England.
- We submit well evidenced reports of a high standard to Healthwatch England.
Healthwatch Cumbria participates in strategic planning and makes views known to commissioners and providers.
- We play a role in the preparation of the statutory Joint Strategic Needs Assessments and Joint Health and Well being Strategies on which local commissioning decisions will be made.
- Our information about services is used to provide evidence based criteria to influence commissioning and policy.
- Our reports and recommendations lead to meaningful changes for those who use health and social care in Cumbria
Healthwatch Cumbria works strategically alongside the Care Quality Commission, Healthwatch England and the Local Healthwatch Network:
- We can recommend investigation or special review of services directly to the Care Quality Commission and Healthwatch England.
- We work closely with the Care Quality Commission nationally regarding their inspecting and reporting methods and collaborate at a local level to ensure effective monitoring of health and social care standards.
- We liaise with Healthwatch England and the network of local Healthwatch organisations to share information, experiences and reports and ensure that Cumbria is effectively represented at a national level.