People’s Network

The People’s Network November Event

Let’s talk about dementia…People's Network logo - mages include brightly coloured hands and a pink bird

The vision for Dudley borough is for it to be a place where people with dementia and those who care about them can receive the right services, in the right place, for the right need and in a timely, responsive and non-discriminatory way.

At our November People’s Network we would like to talk about dementia, the support that people in Dudley can access and what this should look like, as the needs of our society change and grow.

Come and join us to talk and find out about:

  • Local services that support people with dementia and the people who care about them
  • How local people are living with dementia related conditions
  • The Dudley Dementia Pathway, what it is and future plans
  • Dementia Friends, the important work they do and how to sign up
  • Dudley Dementia Action Alliance and how you can get involved
  • Working together to make Dudley a Dementia Friendly Community

Refreshments will be provided so don’t forget to book if you would like to join us.

We would also love to hear from you if you if you would like to play an even more active part in this event.  Whether you want to raise awareness of your work, share your experience or promote your group in our dementia marketplace please get in touch!

Book your place here

(please note this event has been moved to the Station Hotel in Dudley).

The People’s Network is a place to:

  • Network in a positive way with people who have similar interests in social care
  • Have discussions and share knowledge about local services
  • Inform policies and influence what local services look like
  • Have real opportunities to feed back to decision makers
  • Test the accuracy and readability of public documents before they go live
  • Bring and share powerful stories, journeys and experiences 

People's Network All Together Better ActivityWho can join?
Whether you access or provide a service or care for someone who does, everyone is welcome and we can make a difference!
Everyone is welcome but if you are attending from a local organisation, we would like to encourage you to bring along someone who you support.

The People’s Network is led by Healthwatch Dudley in partnership with Dudley Council, local people and partners in adult social care.

Past People’s Network events…

Pharmacy and Me (September 2017)

Big changes are happening in health and care services and pharmacy is no exception.  At our September People’s Network event, Dudley Public Health Pharmaceutical Team joined us to:

  • Give an update on a new Dudley policy which includes changes to prescriptions and medicines
  • Inform us about what will no longer be available on prescription and why (find out more here)
  • Dispel some myths about why the changes are happening
  • Tell us about Pharmacy First – a minor ailments scheme available in local chemists
  • Introduce POD the new Prescription Ordering Direct scheme for Dudley borough

At this event members of the People’s Network were invited to take part in an important discussion about how we use chemists, what works well for us and what improvements we would like to see in the future. 

Our conversations contributed to a review of pharmacy services in Dudley borough.

Experiences of receiving Care at Home services in Dudley borough (July 2017)
Dudley Council commissioners have contracts with Care at Home providers for 18,000 hours of home care each week. We were asked if we could bring people together to meet decision makers to listen and learn from their experiences, ideas and suggestions about how future Care at Home services are planned and provided.

At this event the People’s Network:

  • Talked about what is good and what is working well with Care at Home
  • Shared ideas about what could be improved
  • Met people who make decisions about Care at Home services

Creating a health and wellbeing plan for Dudley borough (September 2016, March and August 2017
Home life, family and our experiences all have a big impact on our health and wellbeing – but what does this mean for people who plan health and care services?

Dudley Health and Wellbeing Board asked the People’s Network to help them identify and set priorities for the future.

People discussed:

  • The things that keep them and the people they care for healthy and well
  • What services they really value and what is good about them
  • Any gaps they have experienced in local health or care and what services they would like to be able to access in the future
  • Health and Wellbeing Board priorities of: reducing loneliness and isolation, promoting healthy weight and reducing the impact of poverty
  • Their own priorities, what organisations should do, what local people should do and what can be done together

The conversations that took place helped to steer a Health and Wellbeing Board development session and are helping to shape the new plan.

What is the Health and Wellbeing Board?

The Dudley Health & Wellbeing Board is responsible for the health and wellbeing of all residents in Dudley borough.  Using local evidence, it works to help identify the needs of local residents, improve efficiency, secure better care to improve health and wellbeing as well as tackle health inequalities across the borough.

The Power of Peer Support – Supporting each other through similar experiences (May 2017)

Peer support is people power! It happens when people come together to share skills or to discuss their experience of an important issue, illness or health condition or by giving each other emotional support.

At our May event we:

  • Introduced people to local groups who are already supporting each other
  • Shared some of the benefits of peer support and talked about the challenges
  • Discussed the types of peer support groups people would like to attend and their availability locally
  • Conversations were fed into an event that took place the following day in Dudley, where voluntary and community groups explored how local decision makers can better support  improve health and wellbeing as well as tackle health inequalities across the borough.

Looking after ourselves together (November 2016)

To celebrate Self Care Week our November event shone another spotlight on local health and wellbeing services.

The network was invited to come together to find out about local service that keep us healthy and well, meet some of the people who deliver them and share experiences of accessing health and care services in Dudley borough.

Our event involved guest speakers and a market place to share information about local services that can help us to take care of ourselves and each other.

Have your say on important local health and care service changes. (August 2016)

Dudley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) has been working with partners to redesign health, social care and voluntary sector services across Dudley borough. A new way of working is being planned that will join up physical health, mental health, social care and voluntary sector services through the development of GP practice based teams.

A formal public consultation was launched in July on how a new ‘Multi-Specialty Community Provider’ (MCP) is being developed to deliver services that are currently provided by GP practices, nurses, community health and mental health services, community based services such as physiotherapy teams, relevant hospital specialists and others who provide care in the community.

Healthwatch Dudley invited people from Dudley CCG to explain what is being proposed and there was a question and answers session so that views could be shared  to influence how the new Dudley MCP will be organised.

What is Dudley CCG?

Dudley CCG is part of the NHS and is responsible for planning and paying for all of the local health services with a £458 million budget that it receives from central government.

Find out more:

Watch the short film made by Dudley CCG to explain more about the MCP and their public consultation:

What does dignity mean to you? (July 2016)

Dignity can mean different things to different people.It can be about respect, privacy, autonomy and self-worth and being treated as an individual.

It can be hard to explain what dignity is, however you will probably know when you haven’t been treated with it.

At our July event, we invited guest speakers to share what dignity means to them and everyone took part in group discussions, shared personal experiences and views that will influence an new dignity pledge for Dudley borough.

Spotlight on local services (May 2016)
You asked for another ‘spotlight’ event as you enjoyed finding out information in our marketplace and hearing about local support services.  Our guest speakers shared information about diabetes, mental health support and managing health conditions.  Spotlight events are a great place for people to share their own experiences of health and care and we were delighted that so many people took part.

People's Network May 2016

People's Network May 16 Diabetes UK guest speakerPeople's Network May 16 marketplace

All Together Better! (March 2016)

For our March event we sent out an invitation to take part in Dudley’s ‘biggest ever conversation about health and social care’.  We asked the question, “What does being well, healthy and cared for mean?” and shared ideas about how communities are coming together in creative ways to improve their health and wellbeing.

People's Network All Togetether Better

All Together Better is a partnership which brings together health and social care organisations to review and shape future health and social care services in Dudley borough. Their aim is to ensure that people receive the best possible care with services that continue to meet future challenges and embrace the opportunities for improvement.

Find out more about All Together Better: @ATBDudley on Twitter.

Listening to your views of mental health services (January 2016)
People's Network Mental Health

Mental health was the focus of our January People’s Network as this important issue had been discussed at every People’s Network event and tied in with an upcoming Care Quality Commission Inspection of Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust.

The event included guest speakers from local services including Dudley Mind, Rethink, Dudley Counselling Centre and the Exboozehound group for men.  Following this a discussion took place about how safe, effective, caring, well led and responsive attendees find local mental health services to be.

Feedback from the day was anonymised and shared with the Care Quality Commission to inform their inspection report which can be viewed here.

A spotlight on services supporting adult social care (November 2015)

People's Network Guest SpeakersThe People’s Network asked for more information about adult social care services and the charities and organisations that support and complement the Dudley Council offer.



The November People’s Network provided a marketplace for services and groups to showcase what they do.  Lots of networking took place and guest speakers shared how they are supporting vulnerable people by sharing case studies and stories from people who access their services.

Sharing views and setting the agenda (September 2015)

People's Network ActivityOur September People’s Network gave participants the chance to feed back to decision makers about what they felt priorities were for adult social care in Dudley borough.

The themes for the next two people’s network events were also set.


Shaping the future for unpaid carers (July 2015)

Our July People’s Network focussed on people who care for a friend or family member or support someone who does. The conversations that took place were shared with the Carers Alliance and will help to shape the the future of support for carers in Dudley borough through a new carers strategy.

Information and technology (May 2015)

Our May People’s Network included presentations, workshops and discussions about how technology is supporting information giving in Dudley borough. The event included presentation about Community Information Points and Champions, Telecare and Dudley Community Information Directory.  Participants were also invited to test a new website that can be used to order social care products to make life easier for local people.

Introducing the People’s Network! (March 2015)

The group of people who shared their views about the Local account have decided to grow their group into the new People’s Network for people who are passionate about adult social care in Dudley borough.

The People’s Network is a new place to:

  • Network with positive people with similar interests in adult social care
  • Have discussions and share knowledge about local services
  • Inform policies and influence how what local services look like
  • Have real opportunities to feed back to decision makers
  • Test the accuracy and readability of public documents before they go live
  • Bring and share powerful stories, journeys and experiences

A launch event took place on 11th of March between 11am & 1.30pm where people were invited to plan the focus of the next two network events.

The network is for people who access or provide services or those who care for people who do.  Everyone is welcome.

Download more information

Healthwatch Dudley is passionate about making sure that local voices are listened to by people who make decisions about health and social care.

We have been working closely with Dudley Council to ensure that local people’s views are taken into account as they produce their adult social care annual report (or local account). This is part of Dudley’s commitment to Making it Real and putting local people at the centre of the care and support services they receive read more and sign up to Making it Real in Dudley bulletins here

Photograph of some of the local account group membersOur involvement in the Local Account sees that a diverse range of views are represented and that the final report is fair and balanced.  This has been achieved through a series of joint workshops attended by local people and the 2013/14 report is in the process of being produced. click here to view the 2012/13 report