All Healthwatch Oxfordshire activity results in reports or letters which set out clear recommendations about how local services ought to be improved, based on what local people tell us.
Each report is promoted extensively in the local media and sent to the leaders of the organisations who can do something about the issues raised, with a request that they tell us what action they are going to take.
Most of our recommendations are made to one or more of the following organisations:
- Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group – commissioner of hospital and community services and co-commissioner of General Practitioners’ services.
- Oxfordshire County Council - commissioner of adult and children’s social care.
- Oxford University Hospitals Trust- provider of acute hospital services.
- Oxford Health Foundation Trust – provider of community and mental health services.
- NHS England – commissioner of specialist and primary care services.
- South Central Ambulance Services – provider of the 999 and emergency ambulance services, the NHS 111 service for non-emergency calls and patient transport services.
- Southern Health Foundation Trust – provider of Learning Disability Services.
At the end of every year we write back to each organisation asking them to update us on their progress with making the changes they promised. We then compile a detailed report that is presented to our local Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee, to our local Health and Wellbeing Board and to the press.
In 2014/15 this approach led to over 40 changes to local services, policy or staff training – all of which were based on feedback from local people, and changes were made by all these major health and social care organisations.
• Oxfordshire County Council committed to: publishing performance data of individual care agencies showing the number of missed visits and late visits; is developing customer standards for care homes, personal assistants, supported living, social workers and occupational therapists; has committed to incorporating dementia awareness into their training and is changing the way it gives information and advice to make it easier to understand.
• Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group raised £5m from the Prime Minister’s Challenge Fund for a range of projects to improve access to GP services. The projects will address the concerns patients told us matter to them, such as longer appointments for complex problems and making it easier to get an urgent appointment for a minor ailment.
• Oxford Health NHS Foundation Trust is putting mental health services in all secondary schools.
• Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust offered much better intensive support to people in the community, reducing the need for people to be admitted to hospital.
• Oxford University Hospitals NHS Trust is revising its staff training on using translators and interpreters.
• South Central Ambulance Service has put new paramedic services into the city centre on weekend evenings.
• NHS England has committed to revising and re-issuing its guidance on using interpreters and translators to all primary care providers in Thames Valley.