Following an assessment of its work by Healthwatch England, Healthwatch Cumbria has been flagged up as one of the most highly functioning Healthwatch in the country.
Healthwatch Cumbria’s engagement programme was praised in the assessment which said “Your involvement with the Cumbrian public was very extensive, engaging with over 7,000 people in 2014/15.”
One example of the work the assessment praised was that done by Healthwatch Cumbria to push for parking improvements at North Cumbria University Trust Hospitals, which has resulted in plans for Carlisle’s Cumberland Infirmary to provide more spaces as a result of a Healthwatch task and finish group.
The review commented on the following issues: sustainability, leadership, engagement and impact, saying that we had developed a very effective local Healthwatch.
It went on to say that we ” have developed a good working relationship with our commissioner and you have identified further funding streams due to the credibility you have developed with stakeholders. You demonstrated good governance structures, including clear roles and responsibilities for both exec and non-exec members and you have recently moved to all board meetings being held in public. ”
Healthwatch Cumbria’s involvement with the West Cumbria Forum, which was set up in the light of concerns about the future of hospital services in Whitehaven saw Healthwatch Cumbria nominated for a national award.
In addition the problems facing North Cumbria’s health care system are been addressed in the governments high profile Success Regime and Healthwatch Cumbria is to play a key role in it.
A full newspaper report can be found here.