Agenda item

Healthwatch Brent Work Programme 2018/19

The report updates the Health and Wellbeing Board on the progress of Healthwatch Brent. It also  presents the 2017/18 Annual Report for Healthwatch Brent and sets out the 2018/19 work programme and priorities for Healthwatch Brent.



Julie Pal (Chief Executive Officer – Healthwatch, CommUNITY Barent) introduced the report which included the 2017/18 Annual Report from Healthwatch Brent and also detailed their work programme and priorities for 2018/19.  Before focussing on the report, she began by apologising to the Board for Healthwatch’s non-attendance at the previous meeting in July which she advised had been due to an administrative miscommunication.  Councillor Farah, as chair, thanked her for the apology which had been fully accepted on behalf of the Board.


Moving on to the report, Julie Pal began by highlighting that CommUNITY Barnet had been commissioned to deliver the local Healthwatch contract in Brent from 1 April 2018.  The 2017/18 Annual Report (which had been attached as Appendix 2 to the report) had been produced to highlight Healthwatch Brent’s key achievements over the previous financial year and had been reported to Healthwatch England as part of the required statutory obligations.  The Board noted the summary of key achievements, as detailed within section 3.8 of the Health and Wellbeing Board report.


In terms of Healthwatch’s operational priorities for Brent in 2018/19 Julie Pal introduced Ian Niven (Healthwatch Brent Manager) to the Board who began by outlining the way in which the development of the priorities had been informed.  The process had involved seeking to combine evidence from a range of partners along with:

·                the HeathWatch Brent Advisory Board;

·                programme leads for the Brent Health & Social Care Partnership;

·                The Friends of Healthwatch Brent;

·                Contract Managers;

·                Priorities identified in the Brent Joint Strategic Needs Assessment, Sustainability and Transformation Plan, Better Care Fund and Director of Public Health Annual Report (to ensure strategic alignment)

The evidence gained from this process, alongside views gathered from health and social care users and residents through engagement and outreach had been used to assist in identifying key issues and needs in order for commissioners and providers to consider developing joint responses.  On the basis of the approach outlined, the Board noted the key issues which had identified in Brent in 2018/19, as detailed in section 3.12 of the report with specific activity, highlighted as an example, in relation to the raising of awareness within certain community groups in relation to prostate cancer.


The Chair thanked Julie Pal and Ian Niven for the update provided and then invited comments from the Board, with the following issues highlighted:


(a)       In terms of the priorities identified for 2018/19, whilst supportive of the work being undertaken to raise awareness around prostate cancer (particularly within the Black Afro-Caribbean community) Dr MC Patel felt it important to highlight the need for a more targeted approach in relation to any screening programme given the costs associated and need to take account of the required clinical assessment.  Julie Pal and Ian Niven advised these factors had been recognised, with Healthwatch committed to continuing to work closely with Brent CCG and clinicians regarding delivery of the project and messages being delivered as part of the awareness raising process.


(b)       In terms of the high level priorities identified for 2018/19, Councillor McLennan felt it would be useful for more detail to be provided as part of future updates on the actions being developed to address each area, which the Board also supported.  Details were also sought on the engagement of staff in the process for identifying operational priorities, which Julie Pal advised the Board included close liaison with the contract manager and also with relevant programme leads.


(c)       Looking at the achievements outlined during 2017/18, Councillor Farah (as Chair) sought further details on the success reported in terms of the extended reach of Healthwatch via social media and also in relation to the increased number of residents engaged.  In response Ian Niven advised that the feedback received from the 1200 residents had been as a result of direct contact, with these comments having been fedback to statutory partners.  In terms of social media there had been a specific focus on increasing its use in order to raise awareness around the role and information available from Healthwatch Brent which had been a success, resulting in an increase in Twitter followers to over 1400.


(d)       As a final issue, Councillor Farah highlighted the findings within the recent report from the Care Quality Commission (CQC) relating to their inspection of the London North West Healthcare NHS Trust and sought details on the engagement of Healthwatch Brent in the inspection process and in terms of ensuring that the patient voice was fully captured.  In terms of being able to capture and represent the patient voice, Ian Niven advised of the regular visits undertaken to the main hospitals and clinics within Brent with comments and views received fedback to the Trust on a regular basis through their Patient Experience Committee.  Whilst sharing the Boards disappointment at the outcome of the inspection in terms of the limited progress made since the previous inspection, he was also keen to highlight the proactive relationship between Healthwatch and the Trust.  In relation to engagement in the process, Julie Pal advised that Healthwatch maintained a good working relationship with the CQC as a trusted partner and would be attending the CQC summit meeting in November.


Whilst noting the positive working relationship with both the Trust and CQC, the Board remained concerned regarding levels of public awareness and understanding in relation to the current CQC inspection and also in terms of the management response from the Trust to the previous inspection given what was perceived to be the lack of cultural and organisation change delivered.  In terms of raising awareness, Councillor McLennan highlighted the potential use of the Brent Connect Forums with the Chair also reminding members that the Council’s Community Wellbeing Scrutiny Committee would also be hosting a meeting to undertake a detailed review of the inspection findings and response being developed by the Trust, which representatives of all interested parties had been invited to attend.


As no further issues were raised Councillor Farah thanked Julie Pal and Ian Niven for attending the meeting in order to present the Healthwatch Annual Report and 2018/19 priorities and it was AGREED:


(1)       To formally note the 2017/18 Healthwatch Brent Annual Report; and


(2)     To formally note the Healthwatch Brent priorities identified for 2018/19, on which further detail would be provided around key actions as part of any future monitoring updates.

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