Healthwatch City of London Bulletin 51

This week we are delighted to announce the speakers at our Annual Public Meeting, we give an overview of our Mental Health and Wellbeing group and all the latest news from Health and Social Care across the City.
Group of young people being interviewed

Healthwatch City of London Annual Public Meeting

We are delighted to announce that we are holding our annual public meeting on Friday 10th December, our key speakers will be Tracey Fletcher, Chief Executive of Homerton University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Dame Alwen Williams DBE, Group Chief Executive, Barts Health NHS Trust. Tracey and Alwen will be talking about patient engagement and enabling your voice to be heard during the reconfiguration of services and the development of the Integrated Care Partnership plus how their Trusts are tackling the waiting lists.

Hopefully we will be able to hold the meeting in person, we are currently looking for a suitable space. Look out for registration details in future bulletins.

Mental Health and Wellbeing focus group

Last week our regular mental health and wellbeing focus group met. City Connections and MIND (City, Hackney and Waltham branch) attended the meeting and provided an update on their services and activities that are available to City residents.

Kevin Jones the City Connections Wellbeing Coordinator gave an overview of the activities coming up. On 11th October Sam McGavin the Senior Carers Lead, City & Hackney Carers Service at the East London Foundation Trust will be joining City Connections Carers Coffee call to talk about the support they have available for those caring for someone with a mental health diagnosis.  To find out more you can access the City Connections October newsletter further on in this bulletin.

Nichola Lauder, Director of IRIE MIND gave an outline of the services available to City residents, these include:

Steps Ahead – new employment, education, and training programme

Well@work – monthly group for people who are struggling to cope with stress in the workplace

Talking therapies – talking with a trained professional can help to improve your resilience, relationships, and support you to develop healthy ways of coping with life

Rainbow mind – championing LGBTQI+ mental health

IRIE Mind – a black and minority wellbeing service

Nichola acknowledged that it would be a benefit for groups and services to be based at community centres in the City to enable easier access for residents. Please visit MIND’s website for more details and how to access services.

Flu vaccinations this winter

The winter flu vaccination programme has begun with eligible residents starting to receive their vaccinations.

The North East London CCG is urging everyone who is eligible to take up the offer. Flu vaccination is especially important this winter because fewer people will have built up natural immunity during the Covid pandemic and if you get flu and Covid-19 at the same time, research shows you're more likely to be seriously ill. Even if you've had Covid-19 or the Covid-19 vaccine, you still need to have the flu vaccine - it is safe and it will be effective at helping to prevent flu.

You can find more information here on who is eligible for a free vaccine and information on the vaccine itself. You will be able to get vaccinated at your GP surgery, at a hospital appointment, at a pharmacy offering the service, or from your midwife if you are pregnant. You can find a pharmacy that offers the flu vaccine here now. If you have had trouble getting a flu vaccination or would like to tell us about your experience please get in touch

Booster COVID-19 vaccines 
Vulnerable adults are now being offered a COVID-19 booster vaccine. People aged 50 years and over, care home residents, frontline health and social care workers, and those aged 16 to 49 years with specific underlying health conditions will be offered a booster vaccine dose. Booster jabs can be booked online by those who are eligible by visiting the National Booking Service. People will also be contacted by the NHS or their GP directly and invited to book.

Where would you like to have your COVID booster vaccination

City and Hackney CCG are using Bocking street as one of their two local vaccination hubs, the other is John Scott Health Centre. We would like your opinion on how convenient   and accessible Bocking street is. Please let us know by completing our poll

NHS Waiting Times Survey

The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in many people having their operations, treatment and appointments delayed. A record number of people - more than 5.45 million - are waiting for NHS hospital treatment in England. We want to find out how this is affecting you.  

All Healthwatches across the North East of London are carrying out a survey to learn about the impact of delays on people, how they are coping while they wait and what support they think would help them better manage their health. 

Please complete the survey below to let us know of your experiences.

City Connections October Newsletter

Please see attached the City Connections October Newsletter which includes their schedule of activities for the month.

City Connections Newsletter

Safe Connections: helping to reduce the risk of suicide in North East London

On World Mental Health Day this year, which takes place on 10 October, North East London Clinical Commissioning Group and partners are launching a new range of support services for residents in north east London to help reduce the risk of suicide.

These services are being delivered together as Safe Connections and there are five elements:

  • Safe Connections App: providing a safe, quick and efficient way to access information on services for local residents, downloadable via QR code or hyperlink and can be used on mobiles, tablets and personal computers.
  • Community hubs: supporting people who are experiencing suicidal thoughts to access the right service at the right time.
  • Community protectors: trained local residents who can offer support to their communities and offer near-by support for people feeling suicidal
  • Bereavement services: offering specialist support for those bereaved following a suicide
  • Training for professionals: delivering a tailored programme for health and care professionals to help them provide timely suicide interventions

The services are accessible for people over the age of 18 years living in the following areas in North East London: City and Hackney; Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, Barking and Dagenham, Havering and Redbridge.

You can contact the service on 0300 561 0115. Please help make sure every resident in north east London is aware of these services by sharing with family, friends, and colleagues. More information is available on the Safe Connections webpage or view the leaflet attached below.

Safe Connections

Old Street Roundabout and impact on access to the Homerton Hospital

We’ve had numerous contacts from residents concerned about the additional time it now takes to reach Homerton Hospital following the development of the Old Street roundabout. The traffic flow of the roundabout was changed to reduce pollution and support Covid distancing. However, we have had reports that it can now take over an hour to reach Homerton due to the new set up.

We raised this issue at the City of London’s Health and Wellbeing Board and will be working closely with partners to identify solutions.

In the coming months we will be carrying out a survey on access to services, this will include access to the Homerton. In the meantime, if you’ve experienced any delays, or would like to voice your concerns please contact us on

Stop smoking this October

This Stoptober Smokefree City & Hackney is asking local smokers to join the thousands of people who will quit smoking in October. 

Smokefree City & Hackney is the local stop smoking service for anyone who lives, works or studies in the City or Hackney (or who is registered with a City or Hackney GP),

The service offers a 12 week stop smoking programme with access to a dedicated stop smoking advisor and stop smoking medication (free to those who don't pay for prescriptions)

With support and medication, the likelihood of quitting is three times higher than for those who try to go it alone.

As soon as you stop smoking, your body starts to heal itself ….

  • Circulation improves: stop smoking and start moving
  • Breathing improves: stop smoking and start breathing
  • Finances improve: stop smoking and start saving (as much as £36 per week)

For more information about Stoptober and Smokefree City & Hackney visit or call the service on 0800 046 9946.

Healthwatch City of London events

See below the next scheduled dates for our regular events for ‘Listening to City Carers’ and our Mental Health and Wellbeing focus groups.

As a result of these events, we have enabled a carer to receive their COVID vaccination in their home, access for another resident to the ELFT mental health team, given a voice for carers in the retendering process by the Corporation of London of their home care contract.

Listening to City Carers

Overview: An opportunity for Carer’s to provide feedback on their experience of Health and Social Care.

Date: Friday 22nd October

Time: 11am – 12noon

Link to join:

Meeting ID: 858 2384 0940 Passcode: 855067

Mental Health and Wellbeing focus group

Overview: The event is open to everyone and we will be discussing mental health provision in the City of London, identifying access issues and any gaps in the services provided to you. We will be joined by colleagues from MIND, East London Foundation Trust and City Connections.

Date: Thursday 18th November

Time: 3pm – 4pm

Link to join:

Meeting ID: 824 0070 3243 Passcode: 390856

Listening to City Carers

Overview: An opportunity for Carer’s to provide feedback on their experience of Health and Social Care.

Date: Friday 26th November

Time: 2pm – 3pm

Link to join:

Meeting ID: 818 9776 2127 Passcode: 575751


Latest Covid-19 statistics for the City of London

The joint City and Hackney Public Health Intelligence Team produce regular statistics on Covid-19 levels and vaccination uptake data in the City. The site is updated regularly and accessible at   

Keep up to date with the latest advice

HWCoL are constantly updating our advice and information pages. Please make sure you visit them regularly.

Get in touch with Healthwatch City of London

Visit our website for more information, news and events, have your say about your care, and spread the word about Healthwatch City of London. email:  Tel: 020 3745 9563 Facebook: Twitter: @HealthwatchCoL

Portsoken Health and Community Centre, 14-16 Little Somerset Street, London E1 8AH

Interested in volunteering?

Becoming a volunteer is easy. Get in touch to find out about volunteering opportunities with us.

Find out more