Last year, Healthwatch England, the statutory, independent national champion for people who use health and social care services, began a major project to find out about the public’s experience of mental health services.
Having now analysed the initial feedback they received from service users they’ve requested that six Healthwatch teams around the country undertake what they call a ‘deep dive’ piece of work, each focusing on specific areas.
Healthwatch Torbay has been selected to explore our community’s experiences of mental health support, during pregnancy, throughout the perinatal period and up to 3 years beyond. The intention is to enable a deeper understanding of strengths, challenges and gaps as experienced by the public and by service providers.
Healthwatch England have given the time-frame for completion of the data submission as the end of March 2019.
Our work will include interviews with staff – both mental health and maternity professionals – and will involve visits to specialist mother and baby units or maternity wards for background field work. We’ll also be considering the impact of deprivation issues identified in the Public Health Local Authority Health Profile for Torbay* and encouraging responses from people (including partners) often considered to be seldom heard, focusing, too, on those whose English is not their first language.
The selection of Healthwatch Torbay recognises our capability to deliver on work of national relevance. It also recognises the desire of our local stakeholders to use the experience of local people to inform service improvement.
*(Torbay is one of the 20% most deprived districts/unitary authorities in England and about 20% (4,600) of children live in low income families)
If you would like to share your experiences of local health and social care services, visit www.healthwatchtorbay.org.uk to rate and review a service in confidence online.
Bob Jope HEALTHWATCH TORBAY
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