The Trustees of Healthwatch City of London are pleased to announce that Heather Ridge is joining us as our interim General Manager in April. Heather’s appointment begins on the 19th April 2022 and will be for a period of six months. During this time, we will reflect on the work that needs to be done to support the delivery of our objectives and ensure that our team and structures are able to deliver what is required by the public and our partners.
Heather will be based at the new Community Centre in Aldgate, and we hope will be able to meet many of you as we return to face to face activities.
Heather is a lawyer by training and has a background in healthcare, corporate governance and risk management and has previously lived in the City of London.
Heather Ridge is delighted to have the opportunity to join Healthwatch and hopes her background and experience will bring a further dimension to the ongoing influence it has in being a champion for patients and residents in the entire City of London community.
Shoreditch Park and City PCN resident engagement project report
Last year Healthwatch City of London and Healthwatch Hackney undertook a project in collaboration with the Shoreditch Park and City Primary Care Network (PCN) to understand what residents want from their PCN. The Shoreditch Park and City PCN is the collective name for the group of local GP practices who have come together to focus on local patient care. This includes Shoreditch Park Surgery, De Beauvoir Surgery, Neaman Practice, Southgate Road and Whiston Road Surgeries, Hoxton Surgery, and Lawson Practice.
The PCN wanted to understand:
• What is and is not working well
• Where the community would like us to focus and improve
• What services the community would like to see develop in the future
A total of 1018 responses were obtained to questions on health services, accessibility, Covid-19, and health challenges and priorities. Ten focus groups were also held, with 38 patients, including Turkish-speakers, carers, and homeless communities.
Specifically in the City we obtained 278 responses, which equates to over 27% of responses across the whole patch. Three focus groups were held with City residents, totalling an attendance of 10 participants, including members of the homeless community.
Two reports were produced as a results of the survey and focus groups, a full report covering all responses from across the Shoreditch Park and City PCN, and a City specific report.
Overview of findings
• 74% of respondents were satisfied with the health services they received in the last year.
• Mental health services, physiotherapy, and health/wellbeing advisors are the services respondents most wanted to be made available in their respective GP surgeries.
• The top five health priorities of community members, ranked in order of priority, are: childhood obesity, adult obesity, drug misuse, alcohol misuse, and smoking cessation.
• 88.7% of respondents said they would be prepared to have a Covid-19 vaccination.
• Poor accessibility of health services to the elderly community and those with certain disabilities during the pandemic resulted from the online GP appointment booking process.
• Individuals reported consulting community pharmacists for medical advice with relative ease compared to their GP.
• There were two main contributors to public apprehension in using health services: fear of contracting Covid-19 and fear of burdening the system with comparatively minor issues.
• Almost all participants agreed that the Covid-19 pandemic and its consequences have taken a great mental toll on the community.
• For non-English speakers, the most identified problem in accessing health care was a communication barrier.
The main recommendations put forward in both reports are:
- Practices to review the systems used to book appointments to ensure it is accessible to all. Ensure practices are effectively communicating the booking process to patients (e.g. via receptionists or via website).
- Offer methods of contacting the GP surgeries other than via telephone, supporting patients’ desire for more online access and face to face appointments.
- Work in coordination with Public Health on programmes to address child and adult obesity.
- Encourage uptake of the Covid-19 vaccine by sharing relevant and up-to-date information and inviting questions, and addressing any concerns.
- Support parents whose children have been negatively affected by the pandemic by providing support, signposting to resources and referring to appropriate services.
- Evaluate the provision of interpretating services in GP Surgeries, focusing on the accessibility of interpreters.
- Respond to residents’ desire for mental health services, physiotherapy clinics, and health/wellbeing advisers in the GP surgeries.
- Ensure mental health and wellbeing services are well publicised to residents and help to ensure equity of access.
- Connect with the homeless population to raise their awareness of addiction-related services where relevant.
Please see below the full report for the Shoreditch Park and City PCN, the summary leaflet and the full City specific report.
We will closely monitor the progress of these recommendations and have invited the Health Inequalities lead for the PCN to update us at our next public meeting.
Healthwatch City of London Meetings
We will be holding our next meeting in public on Friday 13th May between 2pm -4pm.
Dr Chor from the Neaman Practice will join us to update us on the action plan put in place for improvements to patient experience at the Practice.
We’ll also be joined by Abimbola Musa, the Health Inequalities Lead from the Shoreditch Park and City PCN, who will talk about the work being carried out to address Health Inequalities and progress on our recommendations in our resident engagement report.
Join us via zoom:
Meeting ID: 868 4698 2389
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 https://hackney.gov.uk/coronavirus-data
Keep up to date with the latest advice
HWCoL are constantly updating our advice and information pages. Please make sure you visit them regularly. https://www.healthwatchcityoflondon.org.uk/advice-and-information
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. www.healthwatchcityoflondon.org.uk email: email@example.com Tel: 020 3745 9563 Facebook: facebook.com/CoLHealthwatch Twitter: @HealthwatchCoL
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