What we're working on.

This page highlights our current research projects where we're asking the public for their experiences to help improve care. We will update each project with more information on how you can get involved as they progress.

 

Women in a meeting

Integrated Care Systems

The Health and Care Bill currently working its way through Parliament will turn Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) into statutory bodies. We are working closely with NHS England to help the Healthwatch network and your local partners in the NHS and local government for what these changes will mean in practice. 

What are we doing?

We reviewed relationships between local Healthwatch and ICSs to understand what's working well. Over 80% of you are in regular contact with your ICS, but more can be done to formalise arrangements.

Over the next few months we will be providing a range of support for specific areas who need it ahead of the implementation of the Bill in April 2022. 

What do we want to achieve?

Secure effective Healthwatch at the ICS level in all areas of the country and for this new activity to be properly resourced. 

How you can get involved

  • Keep up-to-date with the Health Bill through our regular briefings that we'll share in the group on Workplace. 
  • Keep an eye out for new practical resources, as well as a range of case studies to show good practice across the country.

 

Woman at a reception at a GP surgery

Accessible health and care information 

In 2016 the Accessible Information Standard became a requirement for every NHS and social care organisation. We want to understand if people are getting the accessible information and support they need. 

What are we doing? 
We developing a campaign with the network and partners that will take place over an 18 month period. 

What do we want to achieve? 

We want to make the case for improvements that will make information more accessible to all. We want to raise awareness with the public and professionals of people’s accessible information rights and hold the Government and services to account for delivering improvements that will make information more accessible.

How you can get involved

Find out more about how you can support the campaign and get involved or sign up to one of the workshops

Person on a zoom call with health professionals

Monitoring blood pressure at home

Healthcare is changing, with much greater use of technology to help people engage with services and manage their own conditions. We are looking at how these changes are affecting different groups of people. 

What we are doing?

Five local Healthwatch have been grant funded to research the use of home blood pressure monitors. We're working with NHS England and NHSX to ensure the results inform the national evaluation of the blood pressure monitoring programme. 

What do we want to achieve?

We want to ensure that when new technologies are rolled-out, it is done in a way that considers the specific needs of all users and that the advancement of technology addresses, rather than exacerbates health inequalities. 

How you can get involved

  • Share our findings when we publish in Q4 with any stakeholders who you think would be interested in the findings.
  • Use this work as an example to secure locally commissioned work to evaluate any similar initiatives in your patch.

Unmet social care needs

The Government has announced funding and charging social care reforms. However, the focus of this announcement was how to raise more funds to hopefully improve care for those currently in the system and how to prevent them facing catastrophic costs for that care. We want to broaden the debate by finding out what is happening to those who are missing out on social care support at the moment.

What are we doing?
In Q2 and Q3 we will be looking to grant fund a number of local Healthwatch to help us investigate the impact on unmet social care needs. This is likely to be done through 1-2-1 interviews and focus groups.   

What do we want to achieve?
To provide the Department of Health and Social Care and the Treasury with valuable insights to support the development of a social care White Paper next year.