A FEW THOUGHTS By Steve
Given the massive interest and concern about the NHS and, in particular, the recent difficulties with our GP services in the City one would have assumed the publication of an EVALUATION OF HEALTHWATCH BRIGHTON & HOVE would be a significant event.
“Healthwatch Brighton and Hove Community Interest Company (HWB&H CIC) is the independent watchdog for health and social care services in Brighton and Hove. It was set up under the Health and Social Care Act 2012 and started to operate on 1st April 2013.
Healthwatch Brighton and Hove became a CIC on 1st April 2015, turning 2 years old as it did so. The new Board felt it would be useful to undertake focused simple evaluation to inform future work. It was agreed to do this with key public sector stakeholders and the general public. In general terms public response came from those people already engaging with us.”
Healthwatch Brighton and Hove is responsible for ensuring that local people have a voice in the services they use. It started to operate on 1st of April 2013 under the umbrella of Community Works, (formerly known as Brighton and Hove Community and Voluntary Sector Forum (CVSF), which had been awarded the contract by Brighton & Hove City Council to develop the service.
“It should be noted that the report relates to a relatively small and specific sample of respondents who are already engaged with the work of HWB&H. The majority of public respondents had volunteered at some point with HWB&H and/or used our services and the public sector respondents are active partners in our work. For this reason, we have called the report a ‘stakeholder evaluation’.”
The purpose of the report was originally to “draw upon views of various parties and to provide an evaluation of the degree to which the organisation meets its statutory functions according to a sample survey of the public and key public sector stakeholders which whom the organisation works.
There are 152 local Healthwatch organisations across England.
In Brighton and Hove Healthwatch is run by 8 Directors and a Chief Executive Officer all of whom have been working in the health and social care field for many years. They are supported by 4 members of staff, (1 full-time, 3 part-time), and 36 volunteers.
An online questionnaire entitled ‘How are we doing?’ was promoted during the period between 19th February and 16th March 2015. Hard copies of the survey were also available from the HWB&H office on request. The survey was promoted to members of the public via the HWB&H website, social media, local media, Healthwatch Magazine, Health Promotion mailing list and Community Works mailing lists. There were 8 multiple choice questions as well as open questions relating to the quality of services delivered by HWB&H, as well as the space to share any significant issues that the respondents wished to raise. A total of 49 respondents provided their views. Despite wide circulation, Healthwatch acknowledges that the majority of these people were already engaged with HWB&H and the results should therefore be seen within this context.
In addition, the Chief Executive Officers of key public sector organisations were invited to interview during April and May 2015. Not all were able to respond in the timescale, but those that did were asked a series of qualitative questions.
Those interviewed were:
Geraldine Hoban, Chief Operating Officer of Brighton & Hove Clinical Commissioning Group (B&H CCG), Denise D’Souza, Executive Director Adult Services at Brighton & Hove City Council, Paula Head, Chief Executive of Sussex NHS Community Trust (SCT),
Matthew Kershaw, Chief Executive of Brighton & Sussex University Hospitals NHS Trust (BSUHT)
I do not feel it is worth commenting on the results of this survey/evaluation as the numbers, and representative validity of those, involved do not justify the term evaluation.
The funding received from BHCC to deliver local Healthwatch statutory activities for 2014/15 was £204,000.00. There was additional income of £14,800.00
Total income: £218,800.00
Office costs: £45,663.97
Staff costs: £143,990.63
“Direct delivery costs”: £23,818.04
Total expenditure: £213,472.64
I wonder how many citizens of our City are even aware of the existence of Healthwatch?