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Healthwatch Essex Online Feedback Centre
Date: January 23, 2017
Healthwatch Essex Online Feedback Centre

Healthwatch Essex launched ‘Review a Service’ back in January and has been gradually adding health and social care services over the last five months to include hospitals, hospices, emergency care services, pharmacies, opticians, dentists, care homes and home care services across the county (excluding Southend and Thurrock). The ‘Review a Service’ function was developed in response to a recommendation made in the 2014 ‘Who will Care?’ commission and fits with the scope of its duty under the Health and Social Care Act 2012, to ‘provide information about access to local care services and about choices that may be made with respect to aspects of those services’.   From the 14th June, GP practices have also been listed for review on the new online Feedback Centre hosted on the Healthwatch Essex website

The aim is to create an independent forum where people can constructively share their experiences of services. In what is a challenging climate for GP’s, Healthwatch Essex hope that this will enhance the existing engagement activities and help practices find the best ways to meet the patient expectations whilst delivering the best service they are able to.

Healthwatch Essex aims to be an independent voice for the people of Essex, helping to shape and improve local health and social care services. Since 2013, it has undertaken a range of research and engagement activities exploring topics including the lived experience of carers, mental health service users, young people, cancer services, and many other areas.

Healthwatch Essex has provided the following information about how the ‘Review a Service’ function will work:

We have developed the function to take into account the concerns and queries raised by a number of provider organisations as well as at LMC meetings.

Content is moderated to ensure that it meets the website Terms and Conditions and this process prevents unhelpful, inaccurate or offensive comments. Rules also dictate that the anonymity of doctors, nurses and other staff are preserved, so practices do not have to worry that the names of GP’s and others will be published.

In order to encourage constructive reviews, patients are asked to consider what aspects of the service worked well and where they feel that improvements could be made. Healthwatch will notify practices when a review is left (where an email address is provided) and the practice then has the right to respond. Looking at the reviews and responses currently on the site, it is easy to see how issues can be put into context and some useful perspective provided via this mechanism.

The feedback centre will be managed locally and closely monitored alongside reviews from NHS Choices and in order to gather a fuller picture of what patients are saying.

There’s no doubt that, in this day and age providing feedback in this way has become commonplace and can be an extremely helpful way of developing a good understanding of patients’ experiences. Have a look:

A widget providing a link to the Feedback Centre from your website is available along with leaflets which can be shared with patients.

Please do get in touch with if you have any questions, want to provide a contact email address or discuss the removal of a listing.

Email or call 0300 500 1895.

November 2016