Healthwatch Derbyshire E-bulletin

Did you know that health and social care services are set to change significantly over the next 5 years?
The Government is currently planning how to redesign health and social care services in your area and throughout England. The aim of these changes is to make services ready to meet the needs of the 21st Century.

With people living longer our services are having to deal with the increasing management of chronic or ongoing conditions such as dementia, and as we grow older we are more likely to be living with multiple health conditions. 

There are also significant financial constraints for both health and social care, which mean that services cannot continue to be provided in the same way. More money needs to be put into preventing ill health and helping people early on, before they get seriously ill, as this is when services cost the most.

Fortunately, there is now agreement on what a better future should be.  The Five Year Forward View published in October 2014 by NHS England sets out a clear direction for the NHS – showing why change is needed and what it will look like.

Find out how you can add your voice to the discussion about how services in your local area may change, and what the changes may mean for you.

Difficulty getting an NHS dental appointment?
Healthwatch Derbyshire is aware of the difficultly patients are facing when trying to find a dental surgery in the County that is taking on NHS patients.

We receive many telephone calls from members of the public who have been struggling to get an appointment. These people regularly report difficulty registering with a dentist in their local area, especially when they need treatment quickly.   One of the key difficulties faced by people trying to register with an NHS dental practice is the lack of information about which practices are currently accepting NHS patients.

Information displayed on NHS Choices, the source of on-line information that a patient would reasonably go to when looking to register with a dentist, is often said to be out of date.  To assess the extent of this issue we are undertaking a piece of work to see how information on the NHS Choices website compares with that given by practices when ringing up to make an appointment.  

We are also considering a range of other actions to understand more about challenges with dental services for people who are housebound, or in care homes.  If you are having difficulty finding a dental surgery that is accepting NHS patients please get in touch as we may be able to help.
Healthwatch Derbyshire warns of variations in treatment
Healthwatch Derbyshire say variations in care are worrying after the revelations that most of Britain's hospitals are failing to meet good standards

The State of Care report published in October 2015 revealed that the vast majority - 76 per cent - of hospital trusts in the UK have failed to get a rating above 'inadequate' or 'requires improvement', and among them, work is still going on to improve Chesterfield Royal Hospital which itself received an 'amber' grade in August.

Now Healthwatch warns that people are right to be concerned as the first national report of its kind revealed huge variations in quality and safety around the Country.
Enter and View Visit into Brimington Care Centre
Healthwatch Derbyshire conducted an Enter and View visit following a concern raised by a member of the public, elements of which were similar in nature to those found in the Care Quality Commission's inspection last year.  

We wanted to ensure residents at the home had the opportunity to talk to Healthwatch Derbyshire regarding their experiences of care, and to enable our representatives to see for themselves how the service was being provided. 

The visit highlighted many examples of good practice, as well as highlighting some practice that does not appear to work so well. The full report  includes the findings of the visit and the recommendations for improvement that were made.
Derbyshire Pharmacists Offering NHS Flu Protection
A new national contract has been agreed, under which pharmacists across the country can provide protection on the NHS to patients considered most at risk from flu.

Those eligible for the jab are:
  • People aged 65 and over
  • All adults with a serious existing health complication, such as diabetes, heart disease or breathing difficulties
  • Pregnant women
  • Any carer of an older or disabled person whose welfare may be at risk if the carer falls ill
Some Derbyshire pharmacists have offered flu jabs in the run-up to previous winters, either as a private paid-for service or through local agreements. However, this is the first time the NHS has involved them on such a scale – significantly increasing patient choice.
Intelligence report October 2015
A summary of reports and actions that have been undertaken by Healthwatch Derbyshire includes information on what we are currently working on, what work we are planning and updates on work we have previously undertaken. 

Please direct any enquiries about this report to Helen Hart, Intelligence and Insight Manager, or 01773 880786.
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