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Healthwatch Nottinghamshire – Changes and our future

Healthwatch Nottinghamshire Statement – April 2017

Healthwatch Nottinghamshire is an independent organisation that helps people get the best from their local health and social care services.

We listen to experiences of health and social care services in Nottinghamshire, whether they are good or bad. We use this information to bring about real changes in how local services are designed and delivered, to make them better for everyone.

Healthwatch is funded by the Department of Health. The Department of Health pass this funding on to each local authority in the country, who then commission and fund the local Healthwatch for their area.

Healthwatch Nottinghamshire funding from Nottinghamshire County Council for 2017-18 will be £198,000 in line with core funding from the Department of Health. This represents a reduction of £98,000 on the previous year.

Despite this challenging financial backdrop, it is essential that we continue to build our capability and become a more influential and effective collective voice of the public, facilitating targeted improvements in health and social care design and provision.  Our future strategy targets five key areas of improvement that must be realised:

  1. Using innovative engagement approaches to be more representative of all of our local communities with more of a focus on the voice of the ‘seldom heard’
  2. Building our profile and influence through a clear and understood purpose that adds value by developing more effective partnerships and our Network of Networks
  3. Building our capability and maximising our reduced resources. Including increasing our volunteer base, to release greater capacity to deliver our core functions as well as our priority projects
  4. Collecting and using data more systematically, including Identifying and demonstrating the impact of what we do in ways that are more meaningful to our stakeholders
  5. Augmenting our expertise and our reach by growing our contracted income and using that to reinvest in our sustainability

Following a consultation with staff, a new Outreach and Engagement Officer post has been created to replace the Community and Partnership Worker (CPW) role.

Chris Watson, previously CPW (Bassetlaw area) and Jane Kingswood, previously CPW (South Notts area) have left Healthwatch Nottinghamshire. Chris and Jane, with their commitment and experience, have helped to bring Healthwatch Nottinghamshire to its current prominence. We wish them every success in the future.

Becky Whittaker, previously CPW (Children and Young People) will be taking up the new Outreach and Engagement Officer post, focusing on the voice of the seldom heard across Nottinghamshire.

Andrea Sharp has been appointed to a fixed term Outreach and Engagement Officer post with a particular focus on health inequalities. Initially, Andrea will be working closely with our partners in Ashfield.

Jez Alcock – Chief Executive:

“Our revised structure and strategy will enable us to continue to build our profile, influence and impact. These are challenging times for health and social care and I am extremely confident that Healthwatch Nottinghamshire is now even better positioned to be that influential and effective voice of the public.”

Healthwatch Nottinghamshire would also like to take this opportunity to congratulate both Donna Clarke (previously Evidence and Insight Manager) and Prema Nirgude (Evidence and Insight Worker) following their successful external appointments. Donna and Prema have been at the forefront of Healthwatch Nottinghamshire’s evidence and insight reporting and both these posts are in the process of being recruited to. In the meantime, Marc Doughty has joined us to provide cover and continuity.

Looking further ahead, Healthwatch Nottinghamshire and Healthwatch Nottingham have entered discussions with a view to becoming a single merged organisation by April 2018. From inception, we have had several shared posts and have increasingly worked on the same projects. A merged organisation would better reflect emerging changes in the delivery of services across the county and the city. It would also deliver economies of scale, enabling a more efficient use of resources, enabling us to have a greater impact to the benefit of all the citizens whom we serve.