AGM launches 'invigorated' Healthwatch for City residents
More than 60 City residents and workers took part in the Healthwatch City of London AGM at the Livery Hall on 4 October.
Interim chair Gail Beer told the meeting the board wanted to 'invigorate' Healthwatch City of London by involving more residents more closely in the organisation's work and priority-setting.
Outlining the board's objectives and aspirations, Gail said Healthwatch City of London should focus on activities that mattered to local people, for example general practice capacity issues.
People attending the meeting got a chance to raise issues that mattered to them including:
- Importance of pharmacy and dentistry
- Lack of choice of GP practices for residents and need for NHS GP practices in the City that workers can also use
- What residents can do when people are rough sleeping
- Need to tackle factors that result in people becoming homelessness
- Need for longterm accommodation for residents in City
- GPs shouldn’t turn away homeless people if they do not have a permanent address
- Need for physical central advice hub in the Square Mile where residents can find out about services and voluntary/community activities – one stop shop
- Concern about isolation and loneliness because day centres are closing, leading to mental health issues
A full report on the AGM will be available shortly.
The meeting heard from Will Norman on the health needs of rough sleepers in the City of London who said rough sleepers should be seen as residents with healh and wellbeing needs.
Ellie Ward, integration programme manager for the City of London Corporation, outlined the planned City and Hackney neighbourhood model which aims to provide more joined-up local care.
Although the City comes under the 'South West 2' neighbourhood along with south Hackney, Ellie said a unique model was planned for the City based on the Neaman practice because the City has its own reablement team and social workers.
Spencer Hawkes, of Enhance, a firm providing cleaning services in the City, gave a fascinating presentation on how debt and poverty affects the mental health and wellbeing of low waged workers.
Enhance recently won an award for introducing the Living Wage for its staff along with language classes and training to help staff improve their wellbeing.