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Our priorities for 2014

In January we published reports on people’s views of home care, on how easy it is to complain at Camden’s GP services, and on views about healthcare in one area of the borough, Gospel Oak. 

We’re now busy planning our work for this year. As we think about what to put in the plan – and what to leave out – our board is considering how we can best make a difference for the greatest number of people in the borough. We also have to ensure that we take diverse needs into account, including people who face barriers to using mainstream services or people who rely on specialised services.

We’ve already asked people what they think we should be working on. What we do in 2014 will be taken from what they told us.  

This will include:

·         Work in one locality (Gospel Oak) focusing on mental health and community services, trying to make sure that local people get a real say in changes that are planned in the area

·         A project to collect the experiences of parents of disabled children, on  how well services join up to support them and their child.  

·         Visiting a hospital (Great Ormond St) to look at how their plans to improve food for patients are going. We will useour legal power to ‘enter and view’ the service.

·         If we see a need, making other ‘enter and view’ visits. 

·         Work about health promotion, looking at how well it is reaching the people who find it hardest to stay healthy. For example, we know that people with learning disability and people with mental health problems have worse health outcomes than the general population. People who have multiple health conditions also tell us that they find it hard to follow general health promotion advice.

·         Work about how well services join up and how well they communicate with each other, for example between the hospital and community services when someone is discharged. 

·         Work on how well services communicate with the people who use them, in particular promoting better communication with disabled people.

We think we will probably do:

·         Some more work looking at how easy it is to use local GP services.

·         A project on the health needs of people in temporary housing, such as B&Bs.

We will certainly do some work to check how well all the local NHS trusts, the CCG and the council are doing in engaging service users and the public in their work.

And we will continue to seek views and experiences of services, in all sorts of ways. We want to increase our contact with the public governors of NHS trusts. We will attend local forums, service user and patient forums and local events.

Does this give us the balanced portfolio of work that means we are both doing work that touches the majority of the population and doing work that reaches the people who need the most help to get their voices heard? I hope so. 

Share your thoughts below........