A new way to have your say about health and social care

May 1, 2021
Healthwatch Halton launch online a brand-new online community engagement hub to promote public discussion about important health and wellbeing issues.

A new interactive platform to improve public participation in NHS and social care services has been launched by Healthwatch Halton.

Dave Wilson, Manager of Healthwatch Halton said,

“We have released the platform in response to continued COVID-19 restrictions, acknowledging that opportunities for people to have their say about local services is still limited. Surveys are an important part of what we do, but they can feel quite impersonal and we are very conscious of survey fatigue among the public. Unfortunately, we are still in a situation where our staff team can’t be in the community speaking with people directly, but it is still vitally important that people have an outlet to voice their opinions, especially in such difficult times.

“Since COVID hit we have heard from thousands of people in Halton. We want to continue this trend by offering people a more interactive experience that they can partake in from the comfort of their own home”.

The new site offers a number of ways to share their experience. Examples include joining virtual discussion rooms and interactive maps, where users can reply and react to other people’s comments.

Alternatively, users can take part in quick polls or ‘like’ each other’s proposals, which are pinned on virtual notice boards.

Three main conversation topics: COVID-19 vaccinations, dentistry, and maternity mental health services, have been opened to begin with, but more will be added in the coming months.

The platform is part of wider trial being conducted nationally by Healthwatch England, but will be available for people in Halton to use until the summer. Depending on the success of the pilot however, the platform may stay for good.