Healthwatch Kingston provides a unique insight into people’s experiences of health and social care services across the borough. We are the only organisation that covers the entire scope of local service delivery ranging from your local primary care services (GPs, dentists, pharmacies and opticians), the voluntary sector, Kingston and Tolworth hospitals, district nursing, commmunity health services and social care, care homes and nursing care. How we work depends on the help and involvement of local people who are the eyes and ears on the ground telling us what matters most to them and their local community.
We gather evidence that enables us to build a local picture of how services are performing by identifying trends and emerging issues. For most people their experiences will be determined by, for instance, how long they have to wait for an appointment, the attitude of staff that treat and care for them or their loved ones, how well services work together, being kept informed and being told what their rights are when things go wrong. We use this intelligence to inform our work, and with the backing of statutory powers, we can raise concerns about poorly performing services to those people who commission, provide and regulate local health and social care services. We also applaud areas of good practice and we will promote excellence. After all we want our services to be the best, employing highly professional, caring and compassionate staff, working in modern, safe and welcoming environments, supported by the best technology available.
It is important to note that how we work is informed by the people who approach us and tell us their story. We aim to be accessible to the whole community and we will listen and learn to find out how we can improve our services so that we can reach out to, for example, those people who are seldom heard or do not feel that they can express their views and opinions. Engaging with the community is at the heart of all that we do.