In this section, you can read about the various levels of impact Healthwatch Cornwall has across the health and social care sector in the county (and, if applicable, in Devon).
Our My Life – My Death end of life conference (to follow on from our A Good Death event in 2016) took place on 17 May at the Eden Project.
As part of Dying Matters Awareness Week, this inter-agency conference informed delegates on progress across the county since A Good Death. The End-of-Life Strategy Board plans, and results from our commissioned research were highlighted in this engaging and informative conference.
Speakers included Dr Tamsyn Anderson, Chair End-of-Life Strategy Board; Amanda Stratford, CEO Healthwatch Cornwall and a special performance of Outside the Box by Liz Rothschild, actress and celebrant.
We will be sharing a full report, photos and a film in due course.
As part of the conference, Maggie kindly shared her story about the experience she had at the end of her husband’s life.
Watch the film here: http://www.healthwatchcornwall.co.uk/films/
We have recently submitted our response to Cornwall Council’s Adult Social Care consultation, which closed on 23 April. Our main concern, despite a series of extensions to the consultation, related to the people most likely to be affected not being sufficiently engaged in the process.
We felt there was insufficient evidence of understanding about which groups would be impacted the most by any changes and therefore their viewpoint was likely to be lacking.
We are pleased that Cornwall Council has acknowledged that this has been a poor process and there are lessons to be learned; we believe Healthwatch Cornwall has a role to play in ensuring those lessons are identified and shared.
We are talking to Cornwall Council about the scope of a review. We will be discussing next week (w/c 30 April) how we can identify lessons learned and detail changes needed to put service users and carers at the centre of planning services.
We want the Council to organise the planning of their Adult Social Care in a way which gives them the chance to learn from people’s experiences and get things right the first time – that is central to what Healthwatch Cornwall stands for.
It is vital that the voice and views of people using services are heard by the Council and commissioners; their experiences can, and should, influence positive change.
We will keep you up-to-date on our discussions and plans for review.
Cornwall Council issued the following press statement on 26 April:
The Council has listened to concerns from people who responded as part of its adult social care policy consultation, their carers and families, and groups that represent them and announced that there will be no policy changes as a result of the consultation which closed on Monday 23 April 2018 at 5pm.
Cornwall Council Cabinet member for adults Rob Rotchell said: “We know that people who use adult social care services and their families felt strongly that they did not have enough time and support to respond fully to the proposed changes. We have listened and I can confirm that no policy changes will take place based on this consultation.
“This consultation has not been our finest hour and I apologise to those who have felt that the Council has not responded appropriately.
“We are listening and, more importantly, we will improve our engagement and general communication as a result of the lessons learnt from this consultation.
“We want to build bridges with individuals, their families and all the groups that represent the people that use adult care services.
“We are in discussions with Healthwatch Cornwall so that we can work with them to learn lessons to help us identify where the process went wrong and how we improve our approach to future Adult Social Care consultations.”
You can see the consultation info at: http://www.healthwatchcornwall.co.uk/volunteers/consultations/
We are pleased to learn that NHS Kernow has heeded patient, clinical and organisational input, including from Healthwatch Cornwall, and has decided not to scrap transport cost support for people needing dialysis.
Chief Officer Jackie Pendleton said that since making changes to its non-emergency transport policy, the clinical commissioning group had “listened to the concerns of people receiving kidney dialysis”.
In a letter – available to download and read in full below – she stated that NHS Kernow will fund non-emergency transport for anyone who needs to attend hospital:
- at least three times a week for a sustained course of treatment lasting a minimum of six weeks; or,
- at least six times a month for a sustained course of treatment lasting a minimum of three months.
This change will come into effect from April 5, 2018.
We have held previous discussions with NHS Kernow, Kidney Care UK, MPs and clinicians to share concerns raised with us about access to non-emergency patient transport for people needing dialysis. NHS Kernow has shared its latest update, which includes discretionary transport for renal dialysis patients until March 31, 2018.
Back in 2016, we asked NHS Kernow for clarity on its decision to end funding for gluten free food on prescription.
Read more at: http://www.healthwatchcornwall.co.uk/our-work/you-said-we-did-2/ (under November).
The Department of Health and Social Care (DoH) has now made recommendations on this, with the legislation used by clinicians to prescribe gluten-free food needing to be amended.
NHS Kernow has said it will “continue to uphold its decision” on this until they have sight of new draft regulations, when the matter will be reviewed.
Read more at: https://www.kernowccg.nhs.uk/news/2018/02/position-on-gluten-free-food-prescribing/?mc_cid=b8c244745e&mc_eid=a7c92f2ccf, including the DoH report.
We represented your views on Accountable Care System proposals at Inquiry sessions this month. Keep up-to-date at: http://www.healthwatchcornwall.co.uk/our-work/shaping-our-future-cornwalls-health-and-social-care-plans/
We also added our voice to the concerns raised by NHS Kernow, Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust, Cornwall Council and others regarding NHS England’s consultation on radiotherapy services.
The snapshot below, taken from NHS Kernow’s full response – GB1718117DirectorsUpdate – gives an indication of how people may be affected by changes.
RCHT also echoes NHS Kernow’s viewpoint, saying in its response – RadiotherapyConsultationRCHT – that “We remain concerned that the model is less applicable to our rural population and may have a negative effect on the capacity and capability of our cancer teams and the well-being of patients”.
Cornwall Council’s response includes concerns that, “some patients in Cornwall may choose sub-optimal treatment rather than travel out of county, thereby leading to poorer clinical outcomes” – CCModernising radiotherapy services in England.
All responses reflect the significant reservations we have that needs of patients living in the county have not been reflected in the original engagement around the development of these proposals. Read our response to find out more – Radiotherapy Consultation NHS England Jan 2018.
We helped to extend the deadline of NHS England’s consultation on radiotherapy services – find out more at: healthwatchcornwall.co.uk/news/sisters-share-their-concerns-about-potential-radiotherapy-changes/