Working with Healthwatch Sefton's Community Champions to encourage involvement

Monday, October 28, 2019


Healthwatch Sefton works to help people get the best out of their local health and social care services whether it’s improving them today or helping to shape them for tomorrow.

We work closely with Healthwatch to ensure we capture and consider the valuable feedback that residents share through their networks, as this helps us to inform our plans for developing and improving healthcare locally.

Over the last 12 months, we have further strengthened this collaborative approach and joined forces with the organisation’s Community Champion networks to hold themed healthcare information and engagement sessions.  

Community Champions are representatives from various communities, groups and organisations across Sefton, who can provide information about local services and involvement opportunities to the residents living in their local communities.

The Champions receive support to act as a voice for their communities, gaining their views and sharing them back with Healthwatch and in turn with us in the CCG. Through our activities with this network, we provide information and updates about new and existing services, cascade this information to a wide range of local residents and encourage involvement in our work.

We are also able to hear from some of those minority groups which are often difficult to reach and involve in our work, such as visually impaired, learning disability and older peoples forums.

What people told us and how we responded

During 2019-2020, we have worked together on a number of themed health sessions. During these sessions, Community Champions had the opportunity to learn more about services and discuss the ideas and plans put forward, commenting on any relevant patient experience or concerns they have gained from speaking with residents. The feedback we received is helping us to develop our commissioning plans and identify where we can make service improvements.

Review of urgent care services in south Sefton

The feedback from this session is being considered as part of the wider review and engagement exercise, which is captured in the engagement report .

You can see a film from the event here.

The outcomes from this engagement is helping us to understand more about local people’s experiences and views of these services, and is being used to plan the next steps for developing urgent care services in south Sefton.

Sefton2gether – our NHS five year plan

This session was part of a borough wide engagement exercise, which asked for people’s views on the draft plan for healthcare in Sefton. The feedback from this session was captured in the engagement report and used to inform the final plan.

A film from the event can be seen here.

GP 7 day access service

The Community Champions requested this session as this was a relatively new service and not many of them had heard about it. Following the session they were able to share information about the service in their communities and encourage more residents to use the service.

Podiatry services

As there was some confusion about the changes to this service and how it could be accessed, attendees found the session really useful and some asked if the team could attend their community groups and meetings to provide an update.

You can see a film about the event here.

As a result, further sessions were held at the Crosby Age Concern lunch group and a meeting of People First, a learning disability support group. Information about how people can self refer was also cascaded via the network.

More detailed information about the discussions and feedback from these sessions can be found in the formal meeting notes which are available on Healthwatch Sefton’s website 

How we are progressing this partnership

These themed sessions help us to involve more local people in our work, and we know from the positive feedback we have received from Healthwatch Sefton that these are valued by the Community Champions and their stakeholders.

We are continuing to work with Healthwatch Sefton to hold these sessions and to support Community Champions in their important role to encourage more of our residents to get involved in our work and their local NHS.