Healthwatch England has published its annual network priorities list, setting out the key health and care topics that local Healthwatch across the country will be working towards throughout 2019.
In 2018, Healthwatch engaged with 400,000 people about their experiences of care.
The company collects a wealth of qualitative data and each local Healthwatch works on these surveys with their community to set out a number of priorities for their area.
The top five priorities for 2019 for Healthwatch are:
- Primary care (including access to GPs) – (64 local Healthwatch)
- Children and young people – (57 local Healthwatch)
- Mental health – (50 local Healthwatch)
- Services working better together – (49 local Healthwatch)
- Adult social care, including residential care homes or care at home – (41 local Healthwatch)
Sir Robert Francis, chair of Healthwatch England, said: “Taking the time to listen to people’s experiences of care and what they want to see done differently is enlightening and often generates a range of practical solutions that can help services better meet the demands being placed on them.
“This is what we do at Healthwatch. We take time to listen, and encourage others across health and care to do the same, building vital insight that helps services make the right changes.
“As well as GPs, it’s really encouraging to see the needs of young people as a key area of focus. The fact that social care appears in the top five for the third year in a row also shows the increasing attention communities want to see placed on creating a system that works for them.
“But we cannot improve things on our own. If anyone has a story they want to share or an idea they think might help, I urge them to make it their New Year’s resolution to get involved and speak to their local Healthwatch.”