Be a Powerful Voice in Lancashire’s Healthcare
Volunteers are being sought across Lancashire to help ensure health and social care services are providing the optimum level of care.
Healthwatch Lancashire is tasked with monitoring health and social care across the county giving residents a voice while listening to their concerns so they can influence change.
But to ensure the job is done effectively and by the people who are at the heart of such services, Healthwatch Lancashire needs volunteers in every corner of the county to act as ambassadors for the organisation.
Volunteering activities can vary from spreading the word about Healthwatch Lancashire, distributing newsletters and representing the organisation at an event, to people who can assess the delivery of health and social care services, act as mystery shoppers to review services and those who can help make healthcare documents and marketing material more user friendly.
CEO Gill Brown said the role of volunteers is vital to ensure every person across Lancashire receives the health and social care they need.
She said: “Ambassadors are key to the success of Healthwatch Lancashire. It is our job to ensure that every single person living in the county gets the health and social care they not only need, but deserve.
“Thousands of people are treated in our GP practices, hospitals, dentists and care homes every day. What we aim to do is ensure that that care is consistent at all levels and the best way of doing that is with a team of ambassadors.
“We already have a good network of volunteers but we need more. The level of commitment varies according to the task taken on by the individual but each and every volunteer does adopt a very important role because these people are our eyes and ears. They know the area where they live and, as Lancashire is such a diverse county, they are familiar with the needs of their community.
“It is these people who are essential in looking at services for us and assessing their effectiveness.
“On the other hand we need people who are happy to talk about Healthwatch Lancashire at events and promote the organisation as far and wide as possible so that people know we are here.
“We know that we need to engage with the public and the best way of doing this is to have volunteer ambassadors who will help us spread the word about Healthwatch Lancashire, while also monitoring services across the county because that way we can work effectively so that ultimately we can have a positive impact on services.”
An important role carried out by Healthwatch Lancashire is also identifying best practice within health and social care settings and using this as examples to others.
Gill added: “Being a volunteer doesn’t mean you are only looking for negative aspects of care. Many of our health and social care providers go above and beyond their duties and the service they give is second to none. It is equally important we know about this as we can use it to show others who may need a little guidance just what best practice is.
“At the end of the day Healthwatch Lancashire is the voice of the people of this county and volunteers are absolutely essential in helping us ensure those voices are heard.”
Pictured top right: Healthwatch Lancashire Volunteers Tim Snashall and Deborah Finn