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  1. Healthwatch Birmingham launch new website

    Healthwatch Birmingham launch new website

    New patient experience platform for Birmingham

    Healthwatch Birmingham – the local health watchdog set up to champion patients’ rights – has launched a new online engagement tool with the Social Media Partnership to help people in Birmingham let health and care bosses know what’s good and what’s bad about health and social care in the City.

    Healthwatch Birmingham is one of 152 local Healthwatch groups set up by the Government as part of health reforms set out in the Health and Social Care Act in 2012. Its job is to ensure that the voice of patients, users and the public is at the heart of NHS and care services. Healthwatch Birmingham gathers patient views, represents those views to local NHS organisations and makes sure they are taken account of.

    The new online Feedback Centre launched today will be accessible via a variety of devices including mobile phones, ordinary PCs and tablets, just by going to Healthwatch Birmingham’s website.

    Healthwatch Birmingham - Feedback CentrePeople will be able to easily and anonymously rate the care that they received in an engaging and simple way from wherever they are. Recent research has shown that half of the public who considered complaining about NHS services did not. Many people were put off because they expected the process to be too bureaucratic and others believed it would make no difference.

    Healthwatch Birmingham believes that by helping patients to more easily express their views we can improve health and social care in the City.

    Chief Executive Paul Devlin said:

    “We have much to be proud of in the health and social care services people in Birmingham use every day, and we should recognise and celebrate this. But sometimes things go wrong and need improving, and the voice of patients and users must be heard to help get things right. Healthwatch Birmingham’s central mission is to make sure that the patient voice comes through loud and clear to the professionals who make decisions about health and social care in this City.

    “That is why we have developed a simple yet powerful system which is accessible to the widest possible group of people from wherever they are.

    “Hundreds of thousands of people every day use online review systems to give their opinion about other services or products they have bought or used. We want to harness that behaviour to get patients, users and their families to give us vital information about the NHS and social care. As an independent organisation, Healthwatch Birmingham hopes to gain the trust of the public to tell us their full experiences of local services: the excellent and the good, as well as where things need to improve. We hope that by creating a familiar tool that we will be able to engage many more people in celebrating and improving health and social care here in Birmingham.”

    The online patient feedback data will be part of a much larger dataset being collected by Healthwatch Birmingham which it will use to analyse the public’s views of health and social care in the City. More traditional methods of patient and user review will also be collected, such as the telephone, paper-based feedback, and public engagement events.

    Analysis of the Feedback Centre data will also shed light on health and care trends, patterns, and issues virtually in real time. These results will be actively shared with the public and with health and social care organisations.

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