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June 2018 Newsletter

Every issue we like to highlight the power of the patient voice. This is particularly fitting for this issue as June celebrates Patient Participation Group (PPG) Awareness Week – the name says it all!  PPGs offer patients the opportunity to work with their GP practices to improve services for themselves and others. So why not discover the difference your voice can make by joining your local PPG. In this issue too, we'll be telling you about our up-coming #itstartswithyou campaign, which is designed to encourage more people to tell us what they think and help make care better for everyone. 

But what if you struggle to have your voice heard? How do you access health and social care services? Who can you turn to? 

As the patient voice in Bucks, we make sure we represent all sections of society, especially those whose voices are seldom heard. In this issue, read what we discovered when we looked into the experience of people affected by homelessness in accessing GP services.

Our News and Updates

How easy is it to access health care – when you’re homeless?

Evidence across the Healthwatch network suggests that homeless persons are disadvantaged in their access to health care. As homeless persons often struggle to have their voices heard, we decided to find out what it was like for people who don’t have an address to register with a GP in Bucks. Read our report to find out the response of GP practices across the county.

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Outstanding examples of care for others 

This year we were once again delighted to attend the 2018 Dignity and Respect Awards, a celebration of outstanding examples of care. Eight short but beautiful films about each nominee captured our hearts but Elsie’s simple comment about her carer Karen won the day “It’s all those little things... that she does that make so much difference to me."    

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A big thank you to our wonderful volunteers 

As June celebrates volunteer week, we thought we would thank our wonderful volunteers with a lovely day out at Lords Wood in Little Marlow, which is part of the National Garden Scheme (NGS). Last year our volunteers contributed a whopping 2126 hours or 304 days to Healthwatch Bucks. That’s the equivalent of 1.16 full-time members of staff. A big thank you to everyone. 

If you’d like to volunteer with Healthwatch Bucks, why not take a look at all the roles available. There really is something for everyone.    

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The more people share their ideas, experiences and concerns about NHS and social care, the more services can understand what works, what doesn't and what people want from care in the future.

As the NHS turns 70, we're encouraging even more people to tell us what they think and help make care better for them, their families and their communities.

Thanks to people telling us what they think about health and social care, services across the county have already made positive changes that benefit the people using them. 

But to make the biggest difference, we need to hear from more people. And this is why we'll soon be kick starting our #itstartswithyou campaign  is designed to encourage more people to share. Featuring one local resident who shared his views on Bucks maternity services So if you see #itstartswithyou - please share your voice!

Local News and Updates

Have your say on GP surgery appointments

Did you know that from October 2018, some surgeries will be offering extra appointments either at weekends or in the evenings? Well, here’s your chance to let the Buckinghamshire Clinical Commissioning Group know what you think and help them shape the future of GP services in Bucks. Complete their quick survey by clicking on the link below, and don’t forget to let friends and family know too.

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Your chance to help shape emergency care

999 emergency care, NHS 111 and your local ambulance service are all provided by the South Central Ambulance Service NHS Foundation Trust (SCAS). If you’d like to find out more or get more involved, why not come along to their biannual Buckinghamshire and MK Community Engagement Forum?  This is your chance to have your say.

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Patient, Power & Partnerships -  have your say now!

The first week of June celebrated Patient Participation Group (PPG) Awareness Week 2018 – a week that was all about empowering patients to work in partnership with their GP practice to shape and improve care for everyone. So don’t let this opportunity pass, make sure your voice is heard and join your PPG at your local GP practice. Just ask at your GP practice for further information.

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PPG Success Story – putting the spotlight on PPG members 

We were thrilled to hear about the range of activities by PPGs across Bucks to mark PPG Awareness Week earlier this month. The energy and commitment shown by members was hugely impressive. And it got us thinking! What motivates different people to join their local PPG? So we went out and about to find out.

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Real Stories – a GP receptionist’s view

Our ‘Real Stories’ are about local people’s experiences of health and social care services - those receiving the care and those helping to deliver it.

This month has focused very much on the power of patients to share their voices to improve services for themselves and others. So we thought we’d balance this by bringing you an equally important perspective from the GP practice. Here Pauline provides some advice for patients on getting the most out of your GP services.

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Buckinghamshire's Integrated Care System (ICS) 

This is the fifth in our series of articles on Buckinghamshire’s Integrated Care System - a new joined up approach to health and social care services.

At Healthwatch Bucks, we think it’s important that you know what is planned and have the chance to have your say. And so do those in charge of the system who want to have meaningful conversations with staff and communities.

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In our next issue

Our role is to get out and about in Buckinghamshire to talk to local residents and listen to what they feel about their NHS. We do this to make care better.

But as the NHS approaches its 70th birthday, we’ve been out and about a great deal more. So in next month’s issue, we’ll be sharing with you some of the views residents have been sharing with us (yes, the good and the bad!).

We’ll also be sharing with you how NHS services have changed for some residents over the past 7 decades! If you would like us to feature your views, get in touch now!
All this plus much, much more.

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Your feedback is vital

We’re here to help make health and social care better for people in Bucks. So please tell us what you think of local services.  

Get in touch and help us to shape your services so that they work better for everyone!
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