Agenda item

Healthwatch Update

To receive an update on the work of Healthwatch Wokingham Borough. (15 mins)


The Committee received an update from Healthwatch Wokingham Borough.


During the discussion of this item the following points were made:


·         Nicola Strudley presented the summary quarter report.

·         Healthwatch Wokingham Borough had refreshed its work plan.  Nicola Strudley highlighted key projects.  It was noted that Healthwatch would be looking at the impact of system transformation and working with the Clinical Commissioning Group in relation to the implementation of the Accountable Care System.  A one year fully funded post which would act as a conduit between the health system and the three Berkshire West Healthwatches had been agreed.

·         Healthwatch would be undertaking a comprehensive programme of Enter and Views.

·         Members would be sent a copy of the report regarding the visit to Prospect Park.

·         Several case studies and the impact that Healthwatch had had in the individual cases were highlighted.

·         With regards to a case where a family had experienced difficulties in accessing a powered wheelchair for their child, Councillor Blumenthal asked what the final outcome had been.  Nicola Strudley agreed to feed back to the Committee.

·         The Committee considered a case study about a carer who had sought advice and support from Healthwatch with regards to caring for her mother who had memory issues and also carers’ services.  Members were informed that there had been a lack of signposting to information and that Healthwatch had acted as a liaison.  Councillor Blumenthal asked whether this was a one off occurrence and was informed that it was not.  She went on to ask whether improvement was monitored after feedback was given to providers.  Nicola Strudley commented that themes and trends were monitored. 

·         In response to a Member question Nicola Strudley clarified that Healthwatch Wokingham Borough would always seek feedback from the relevant provider.

·         Members were informed of a live consultation on the intention to jointly commission Reading and Wokingham Healthwatches in future. 

·         It was understood that funding had reduced overall and that there was a need to make efficiencies where possible.

·         Members were informed that the current budget for the two Healthwatches equalled £217,000 and that it was proposed that the budget for a combined Healthwatch be reduced to £173,000, a reduction of £44,000.  Members questioned what this saving represented.

·         A Member questioned whether the two Healthwatches had similar work levels and issues.  Nicola Strudley commented that there were some similarities but also some big differences.  For example Healthwatch Reading had undertaken a large piece of work regarding tuberculosis which was less of an issue in the Wokingham Borough.

·         Members noted that Healthwatch Wokingham ran a phone helpdesk Monday to Friday 9am-5pm whereas Healthwatch Reading offered a phone helpdesk three days a week 10am-1pm.

·         Some Members expressed concern that the element of localism would be lost should there be a joint service.

·         The Committee queried why it was proposed that Healthwatch Reading and Healthwatch Wokingham be jointly commissioned as opposed to joint commissioning with other local Healthwatches.

·         The Chairman proposed that a response to the consultation be submitted by the Committee and that further information on issues raised be sought from officers.




1)         Nicola Strudley and Jim Stockley be thanked for their presentation and       that the update from Healthwatch Wokingham Borough be noted;


2)         a response from the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee to the           consultation regarding the joint commissioning of the Reading and Wokingham Healthwatches be produced.



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