I am pleased to share with you the 2021-22 annual report for Healthwatch Enfield.
In our first year of delivering the Healthwatch Enfield contract, I’m really proud of the way the Enfield team has overcome the challenges of a transition phase during a pandemic. I would like to thank all the staff and the dedicated volunteers who have persevered and helped to ensure your voices were heard. It was clear that access to Primary Care had worsened during the pandemic, so we worked alongside local NHS service managers to improve access to face-to-face appointments and the GP reception experience, and to identify the barriers to digital communication. The pandemic also highlighted the existing deep inequalities in the delivery of health and care services and the need to build trust and stronger relationships with local groups.
In response, we collaborated with the Edmonton Community Partnership to improve our understanding of the health care needs of the Bulgarian community and fed back to commissioners that the provision of interpreters is a key concern. We are pleased to be able to restart our programme of ‘Enter & View’ visits to care homes and plan to expand this programme to assess more local care homes in the coming year.
Volunteers who visited homes provided helpful feedback to managers who have gone on to improve the experience for residents, carers and relatives. A key objective for next year is to build on this work by expanding our volunteer groups and by forming a passionate and grassroots-led Local Committee. We will continue to focus on health inequalities, with an emphasis on access to Primary Care, NHS dental care, and Health and social care provision in the borough. I would also like to thank the Council, NHS colleagues, and other key stakeholders for the welcome they have given us and their support in our first year of the contract and we look forward to working with you in the future.
Healthwatch Enfield Chair