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Health Matters HealthVoice Feb 2018

Jane Stephens
Health Matters HealthVoice Feb 2018
07 February 2018

Jane Stephens, lay member for public and patient involvement at NHS Eastern Cheshire CCG

Are you passionate about the NHS? Would you like to influence how healthcare is planned and bought for the 204,000 people of Eastern Cheshire?

If you are interested join me at Curzon Cinema, Knutsford next Wednesday (14 February), from 1.30pm to 4pm, for a meeting of an independent patient and carer group called HealthVoice.

There will be an update from the Caring Together team to give you information about the work that has been carried out in your area to join up community-based health and social care services.

HealthVoice attendees use their experience of healthcare to advise the CCG on how it spends more than £280m each year on services including general practice, hospital and community care, mental health, emergency ambulances and patient transport services.

Each meeting starts with a half-hour session which allows attendees to ask anything they like about healthcare in the area. Questions will be answered by healthcare professionals and CCG managers.

HealthVoice meets every eight weeks in venues across Eastern Cheshire and is attended by people from all walks of life. Participants have played an important role in helping the CCG improve services. For example, the views of attendees influenced the CCG’s plans to redesign hospital-based stroke services – which are now rated the best in England.

And HealthVoice helped write the service specification for the successful community-based Talking Therapies service for people with low to moderate symptoms of stress, anxiety or depression.

HealthVoice isn’t a membership organisation and is open to all. No special qualifications are needed and there’s no need to register beforehand – just turn up on the day.

Being part of HealthVoice will give you a chance to:

  • understand why decisions are made about health services
  • influence local health decisions through representation on CCG working parties,
  • committees and project teams
  • share your experiences of local health services
  • hold the CCG to account as a member of the public.

Meetings focus on four key areas: finance, primary care, the joining up of health and social care services, and monitoring the performance of service providers. Volunteers meet regularly with CCG staff to discuss these issues.

Plans for HealthVoice this year include conducting a survey of Eastern Cheshire people to find out how much they know about HealthVoice and its work to influence availability and performance of health services. Attendees will use findings to review their plans. And HealthVoice is talking to young people about how they would like to get involved in shaping healthcare.

If there’s an issue you’d like to have discussed at a HealthVoice meeting, email CCG engagement and participation officer Julia Hulland - Vernon – Julia.hulland-vernon@nhs.net

For more information, visit www.echealthvoice.info.