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Annual Report 2019/2020

Message from Our Chair


John Dean
Chair of Healthwatch Sunderland

2019 / 2020 has been a very busy and productive year for HealthwatchSunderland.

We have provided extensive feedback reports on the Path to Excellence and have indicated impacts on and the difficulties that patients are having where services have been transferred to South Tyneside.

HealthwatchSunderland, Durham and South Tyneside now have regular meetings in areas of common interest and where the services provided overlap with patients travelling between the Healthwatchareas to use Sunderland and South Tyneside hospital services. The meetings have also proved useful to strengthen our involvement in the North East and Cumbria Integrated Care System NHS initiative.

Healthwatch has continued to visit care homes around the city and our Care Home Life reports are much valued by those who are considering using a care home in their area and the care providers who monitor care homes.

As a recipient of the services provided by the equipment services team, I am pleased to say the equipment services are working well across Sunderland and believe that our feedback report in the past as contributed to this.

Our involvement in the eConsultroll out in the city as patient representatives on the programme board has helped to contribute to much more use of telephone and video consultations by doctors, giving patients easier access to their services where appropriate. With all practices in Sunderland using eConsult it has proved invaluable during the Covid-19 crisis which impacted towards the end of the year under review, where face to face contact with the doctor has proved to be difficult because of the risk of spreading the disease. Please see page 21 for more information.

The coming year is likely to be very challenging for all of us with the spread of Covid-19 and the impact it has had on the population of Sunderland, where health and social care services have been stretched to the limit dealing with the pandemic.

We have become more involved with the All Together Better initiative which forms Sunderland’s Integrated Care Plan. Healthwatch has received a grant from All Together Better to carry out consultation and engagement with the service users, so that their voice is used to feedback their views on the service changes planned, as Primary Care Networks have been formed as part of the national NHS future plans.

Towards the end of the year, the Covid-19 crisis materialised, and Healthwatch has provided advice to the public on how to access health, social care and bereavement services via its website. I look forward to a more normal situation returning soon and would like to thank all of our volunteers who have provided invaluable support to Healthwatch so that we can continue to ensure the publics voice is heard by our health and social care providers.

John Dean
HealthwatchSunderland Chair

Please download the full report: Annual Report 2019/2020

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