Healthwatch Kingston has published its report on community engagement for 2020/21 which shows incontrovertible evidence of the pandemic’s impact on people’s wellbeing across the borough.
Healthwatch Kingston is the independent champion for people who use health and social care services in the borough, has recorded a 100% year on year increase in its engagement activities with people. Over 18,000 experiences, views and concerns were shared on a range of issues and over 25,000 were assisted with health and social care advice and information.
The consequences of the deep change in service levels for health and care forced by the pandemic are serious and long term. Healthwatch Kingston is determined to ensure that the views and experiences of the public are at the forefront of decisions taken for the recovery of higher levels of service provision.
Alarmingly, an unprecedented jump in people seeking information through web search direct from Healthwatch Kingston about mental health stands out, leaping 1,500% from 28 in 2019/20 to 426 in 2020/21. Similarly, the charity’s engagement with residents about mental health leapt from 355 people sharing 1155 experiences, views, and concerns in 2019/20 to 1202 people sharing 5243 in 2020/21.
Healthwatch Kingston expects the next year to be increasingly demanding as the borough begins to recover from the impact of the pandemic. As a small charity, Healthwatch Kingston relies upon the support of 81 volunteers, and is keen to welcome new volunteers to help meet the challenges ahead. See What can I do as a volunteer?
These challenges include a close examination of residential care, its issues and needs. Social Care remains the charity’s largest single topic of contact from people at 22%, and Healthwatch Kingston will publish its findings in a new report due in August.
Healthwatch Kingtson was established under statute by the Government.
- We are the independent health and social care champion contracted by the Royal Borough of Kingston upon Thames to involve local people in commissioning, provision and scrutiny of health and social care services.
- We are also funded by the NHS and other organisations to deliver specific projects.
Healthwatch Kingston is here to make health and care better.
- We are here to find out what matters to people and help make sure your views shape the support you need, by sharing these views with those who have the power to make change happen.
Healthwatch Kingston is here to help people find the information they need.
- We help people find the information they need about services in their area. This has been vital during the pandemic with the ever-changing environment and restrictions limiting people’s access to health and social care services.
Healthwatch Kingston is part of the Time to Change Kingston Steering Group,
we work in partnership with Time to Change Kingston Champions, local organisations, and business to help reduce local mental health related stigma.
Find out more about Time to Change Kingston here.