Annual Report 2021-22: Championing what matters to you

Our work over the past year has focused on ensuring that the public and patient voice is heard as early and loudly as possible in the development and transformation of health and care services across Rutland.
Man and girl with cupcake

Our role in providing a trusted source of information, helping people to navigate the many changes to health and care services, has also been an important part of our work. As one Rutland resident said during an interview about local services: “You have to engage with people to make them feel part of the solution”.

What you need from health and care services locally at Place

In Spring 2021 we asked people in Rutland what changes they needed to happen in the delivery of health and care services, to help them access care and live healthy lives. At that time, many people were concerned that acute hospital consolidation in Leicester City would reduce already difficult access to diagnostics and treatments for people in Rutland and called for better use of our community assets such as the Rutland Memorial Hospital and GP practices. Our research also highlighted that people in Rutland often did not know what services were already provided in within the county, indicating that much more focused effort should be place on good communication. This also applied to information about support, social and exercise/activity groups. 

Let’s Talk…

You told us clearly during our engagement on GP practice appointments that urgent improvement in telephone access to appointments was required and that more face-to-face appointments were needed, especially if you were unable to use digital methods.

When we asked about your experiences of Hospital inpatient visiting restrictions during the pandemic, you said that whilst you appreciated hospitals’ attempts to help you keep in touch with patients through ‘letters to loved ones’ initiatives, this was no substitute for clear and regular communication from clinicians about your loved ones’ care and condition. 

How we made a difference

Through engagement and listening to your concerns about NHS dental provision, poor local mental health support, the barriers to healthcare access caused by poor local transport provision, and problems accessing GP practice appointments, we were able to share your feedback with health and social care providers and commissioners. By sharing intelligence and insight from your stories, we bring your experiences to life and hold the system to account from the patient and community perspective.

Some highlights from our year:

• We provided 1332 people with advice and information about health and care services

• 397 Rutland residents shared their health and care stories with us to help shape services in the future

• We attended 162 boards and meetings with NHS and Local Authority Care leaders to ensure that your voice is represented where plans and decisions are made

"Huge challenges for health and care services lie ahead as they continue to deal with COVID-19 whilst rebuilding and transforming services. The evolving Integrated Care System will shift how services are planned, paid for and delivered, with ever greater emphasis on joined-up care delivered at a local or ‘Place’ level.

Healthwatch Rutland will be at the forefront of bringing public voices and patient experience to the design and delivery of these services as they move closer to home. We will concentrate our effort over the coming year on collaborating with partners to seek out and listen to people with hidden needs, who do not often push themselves forward to be heard. In this way, we will champion diversity and inclusion in everything we do and focus providers on improving equity of access to services for people wherever they live in Rutland."

Tracey Allan-Jones, Healthwatch Rutland Manager

Find out how we have made a difference in the Healthwatch Rutland Annual Report 2021-22:

Read the report

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