Healthcare in Wiltshire will only work if people get to have their say – urges student Zoe Radford.
20-year-old Zoe, from Calne, is encouraging others to speak out as part of What would you do? led by independent health and social care champions Healthwatch Wiltshire, Healthwatch Swindon and Healthwatch Bath and North East Somerset.
What would you do? aims to encourage people in Wiltshire, Swindon and BANES to share their views about how extra money from the Government should be spent on local NHS services.
The Government is investing £20 billion a year in the NHS as part of the NHS Long Term Plan. Local organisations are now being asked to explore how services could work better for people.
Zoe said: “I have had personal links with people living with mental health issues, so I have a keen interest and experience of local health services. I think that mental health services in Wiltshire should be more publicly advertised as to where you can go if you are struggling with mental health issues as well as waiting times.
“By talking and listening to people who have been ill and used these services – you get fantastic knowledge and feedback about health services, which we will all have to use at some stage in our lives.
“Patients are the experts, each and every one of them has a story to share – whether that’s good or bad. I would encourage others to take part and make sure their voice is heard.”
Zoe, who is studying Architectural Design and Technology at Solent University, has helped look after a family member who has had mental health conditions. Zoe was part of the Young Listeners volunteering programme which interviewed over 165 young people about health services in 2017. They reported to the Wiltshire Health and Wellbeing Board their findings and a pledge was made by local decision makers to cut down waiting times.
Share your views
Now is the time to share your ideas and experiences to help make local services better for everyone in Wiltshire.
Please give your feedback in our surveys.
We are particularly keen to hear your views on how services could be improved for older people and how you think GP surgeries can work more closely with other services, such as hospitals, pharmacies, mental health and social care, to improve care for people with long term conditions.
You can also tell us more about how care could be improved for people with long term conditions. If you have experience of cancer, heart and lung diseases, mental health, dementia, learning disability, autism, or a long term condition such as diabetes or arthritis, please go to www.healthwatch.co.uk/tell-us-what-would-you-do to tell us what you think. All responses are anonymous.
Stacey Plumb, Manager at Healthwatch Wiltshire, said:
“Health and care services only work when the voices of the people who use them are heard. This is a once in a generation chance for local people to help decide where this extra money from Government should be spent on our NHS services in Wiltshire.
“We want to hear from as many people as possible about what works, what doesn’t and how they think local services should be improved. No matter how big or small the issue, we want to hear about it. Sharing your experience with us is quick and easy - and could make a big difference."
Talk to us
We'll also be out and about across the county during April, so please come and chat to us. Check out our Events page for full details of where we'll be and when.
Join the conversation at #WhatWouldYouDo