Steve’s first year at Healthwatch Lancashire

September 26, 2023

It has been an incredible first year of my journey at Healthwatch Lancashire. I started in the role of Senior Engagement Officer for East Lancashire and the Ribble Valley and have since become the Engagement Team Leader.

Throughout this year I have been involved in several different projects including our Waiting for Wellness project exploring access to mental health services, the Cost of Living Crisis, supporting Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Partnership with their new strategy and progressing our Enter and View programme.

I have worked hard to establish relationships with community groups in East Lancashire particularly. The connections that I have made have been invaluable and I would like to thank every group that has welcomed me to their sessions or events. It has been great to see how Healthwatch can make an impact with the information we are entrusted with.

My biggest highlight of the year has been my involvement with our Enter and View programme. I have conducted numerous visits including Care Homes, GP practices and Day Services for adults with learning disabilities. It has been a great experience working with service providers to help improve the experience for people who use their services. The impact has been incredible and the journey is only just beginning.

You can read about our Enter and View visits here

As engagement Team Leader, I am involved in planning and monitoring projects, as well as scoping out ideas for future projects based on feedback received. I have also had the opportunity to support our colleagues at Healthwatch Cumberland and Healthwatch Westmorland and Furness with their Enter and View programme. It was a great experience to accompany them in their Hospital Enter and Views and I have since used this as an opportunity for Healthwatch Lancashire to reflect on its own practices.

I am excited for what is to come for Healthwatch Lancashire and the support we are going to provide to Lancashire residents. We have many exciting projects planned for the remainder of this year including exploring the barriers faced by the Deaf/BSL community when accessing health and social care, starting phase 2 of our Waiting for Wellness project which will explore the experiences of mental health in young people as well as hosting medical students from UCLan as part of their community placement.

Overall, it has been a privilege to work with our partners and stakeholders as well as engaging with the people of Lancashire, hearing about their experiences of health and social care. The same applies to the Healthwatch Lancashire team of staff and volunteers who are knowledgeable and passionate about what they do; their dedication is second to none.

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