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Healthwatch Cumbria Annual Report 2014-2015 Published

We are happy to share the 2014-15 Healthwatch Cumbria Annual Report. This provides an overview of all the work that our staff and ambassadors have been doing in communities, through a variety of projects and with stakeholder groups over the past year. We’re sure you will agree that the report highlights the huge progress that Healthwatch Cumbria has made during this time.

You can find the report by clicking on this link:

Healthwatch Cumbria Annual Report 2014-2015

Our work continues to address three main themes:

• Very local day to day engagement – listening to day to day experiences of health and social care services and helping us to understand what’s important to people

• Focused projects – looking in-depth at specific issues raised during our listening activity, e.g. Cancer, Car Parking, Complaints, and providing reports with recommendations to providers and commissioners and, when appropriate or necessary, to more strategic organisations including Care Quality Commission (CQC) and HW England.

• Strategic influence – attending and contributing to key Boards and Programmes aiming to influence thinking and decision making about health and care services across Cumbria.
This is a time of significant challenge and change in the health and care sector and it is pleasing that Healthwatch Cumbria has been invited to sit on many influential Boards that go beyond the statutory requirement set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012.

These include the Better Care Together and Together for a Healthier Future Programme Boards, (now the Success Regime) and Royal College of Genecology and Obstetrics (RCOG) Implementation Programme Board. Our presence on these strategic groups has helped to focus attention on effective involvement and engagement of local people.

Meanwhile, we have specifically been increasing our own local engagement and awareness raising activities in communities of interest and geography throughout Cumbria and have used the learning from these events to enhance reports and influence service improvement and reconfiguration.

Key highlights from April 14 – March 15 include:

In the last year we have engaged face to face with over 7,200 people and seen:

An increase in Twitter followers from 719 to 1169
An increase in website views – 38,121
An increase in Facebook activity from 536 friends to 860
E-newsletter readership to 685

We have surveyed over 1596 people about their experiences and views on specific care pathways.

We have secured more media interest through televised interviews and editorials increasing awareness of key health and social care issues.

Over the last year, we’ve listened to and used the experiences of people gained through
58 Workshops, Roadshows and Drop-in Sessions across Cumbria.

We would welcome any feedback that you may have on the content of the report and would especially welcome ideas about how Healthwatch Cumbria could engage with people in your local community. Your knowledge of what’s happening in your area can help us to shape our engagement plans for the coming months.