We've used this information to set our priorities for the upcoming year, looking at areas where we can make the biggest difference to health & social care in Brent.
Mental health services: Everyone deserves access to good, culturally appropriate mental health services. By looking at the experiences of specific community groups, we want to understand the barriers that are stopping some people from getting the care they need. We will work with Somali and South Asian communities as well as children & young people to find out how access to services can be improved. Our team will also do some more targeted work with people who have been sectioned and discharged, to better understand their experiences.
Engagement work: Spending time listening to the community is a key part of what Healthwatch Brent does. This year we will continue to grow our Grassroots Community Voices network, ensuring that every community group - no matter how big or small - has the chance to feed into our work. We will also spend more time speaking to Eastern European communities in the borough, to understand their needs and concerns.
GP Access: Making it easier for people to get a GP appointment has been a top priority this year, and now that our GP Access report has been published there is lots of follow-up work to do. We have shared recommendations with individual GP practices and will be following up in 6-12 months' time to find out what the outcomes are.
Inequalities & Safeguarding: Keeping people safe from abuse and neglect is everyone's responsibility - but many people don't know how safeguarding processes work. Sharing this information with people across the borough will be a key priority for the coming year. We will also be looking closely at the safeguarding concerns being raised in Brent to understand whether they match the demographics of the borough.
Information, advice and signposting: Our team will continue to support residents through our single point of access, offering information and signposting to those who contact us with queries and concerns. The issues that people raise will be taken to those who commission local services, ensuring that Brent residents' voices are heard.
In addition to our five main priority areas, we will:
- Work with our volunteers and Advisory Group to influence the Brent Integrated Care Partnership and the North West London Integrated Care System
- Continue to attend the Integrated Care Partnership Executive Groups, bringing the voices of Brent residents and patients to ensure their views are heard and can influence important decisions
- Our Chief Executive will continue to represent Healthwatch Brent at the Safeguarding Adults Board, sharing two-way insights to the wider Healthwatch work and stakeholders
- Continue to take part in Healthwatch England’s Accessible Information Standard Campaign.
- Continue to work with our local system partners to ensure they are listening to the voices of Brent patients and residents.
- Continue to work with the Brent Safeguarding Transformation Team to ensure Brent residents and patients can feed into the national consultation on proposed changes to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice and implementation of the Liberty Protection Safeguards
All other work that we are approached to support will fall outside of the funding available from the Local Authority. We are confident we could add value to many areas of health and social care project work, supporting health and care stakeholders to achieve their objectives. We welcome all such opportunities which will further improve health outcomes for people in Brent and in particular address existing health inequalities and avoid future inequalities.