Author Archives: Healthwatch Dudley

Community Information Point Network Launch

Community Information Point Logo (Black)We are delighted to invite you to the launch of the new  Community Information Point Network.

An innovative new partnership of information access points located across Dudley borough.  

Healthwatch Dudley has teamed up Dudley CAB, Dudley Advice Web, Dudley MBC and many other local organisations to give Dudley residents easier access to information around health, wellbeing, social care, benefits and debt.  Our main objective is to prevent local people from getting into crisis (find out more).
Information Points will be located in places where people already visit to get information or services and our network is a true partnership of people in prominent community locations, who volunteer for groups, charities and faith establishments or who work for a whole range of local agencies and businesses.
We think that we are part of a ground breaking initiative which has already received national recognition and we would now like to invite you to help us officially launch and find out more!

Where: Brierley Hill Civic Hall, Bank Street, Brierley Hill, DY5 3DH

When: Friday 26th September 10am – 12.30pm

A warm welcome and light refreshments will be provided. Please register your place at


Healthwatch Dudley Board Meetings – find out more!

Meeting CalloutThe next Healthwatch Dudley Board Meeting will take place on Monday 11 August 2014 starting at 6.30pm. 

The meeting will be held in public and all are welcome to attend to observe the Board’s discussions.

We will be holding all future Board meetings in public because we think it is important for local people to understand what we do and observe how decisions are made at Board level.

In addition to observing the business of the meeting, members of the public have the opportunity to ask questions relating to the work of Healthwatch Dudley.

In order to provide a comprehensive response we would prefer questions to be submitted in advance by email to or by post to Healthwatch Dudley, 7 Albion Street, Brierley Hill, DY5 3EE by the morning of Monday 11th August for discussion at the meeting, however, there will also be an opportunity to ask questions at a set point during the meeting.

The meeting will take place at:
Bank Street Church Hall
Bank Street
Brierley Hill

As your local Healthwatch we are always on hand to answer any questions you have, or to listen to your experiences of health and social care.  The team can also be contacted on 03000 111 001.

Healthwatch Special Inquiry – have your say on hospital discharge

Have you or someone you know, recently been discharged from hospital within Dudley borough? 

Your-Voice-CountsHealthwatch Dudley is taking part in a national special inquiry into hospital discharge and we are really interested in hearing from you.

As your local consumer champion for health and social care, we want to hear about a wide range of experiences and are particularly keen to include views from older people, homeless people and people with mental ill health, as evidence shows these people are most at risk from unsafe discharge from care settings.

You can have your say by completing our short survey online:

Alternatively, to complete our survey over the telephone, or to talk to someone in confidence about any health or social care related experience, please contact us on 03000 111 001 or email


Celebrating Carers’ Week

It’s Carers Week and we’ll be out and about listening to people’s experiences of being a carer in Dudley borough.  We’ve teamed up with Dudley’s Carers’ Co-ordinator Sharon McGlynn, RVS, Dudley Carers’ Forum, Dudley Carers’ Network and other local organisations to raise awareness of hidden carers, through activities at Russells Hall Hospital this week.  If you see us please come and say hello!

Carers week

Healthwatch Dudley is one year old…

…and to celebrate we have launched a poster campaign featuring local people who have supported us during our first year!

Healthwatch Dudley poster & flyer

As your independent consumer champion for both health and social care in Dudley borough, we are listening to your views and experiences and sharing them with people who make key decisions about our health and wellbeing.

This means that if local people have got something to say about hospitals, care homes, doctors surgeries, opticians, dentists or any other health or social care service – good or bad, we will listen so that your views can be heard and taken into account.

We are hoping that our friends and partners will help us to spread the word about Healthwatch Dudley by displaying our posters and flyers. If you are able to help in any way, please let us know and we will arrange to get some publicity materials to you.

And if you would like to find out more about what we do, please give us a call on 03000 111 001, email, tweet us @HWDudley or send a request through our website  We would love to hear from you.

Extended versions of our posters featuring even more local people will soon be appearing on local buses, you can download our poster here and if you spot one when you’re out and about, please tweet or email us a picture and let us know what you think!

Finally, we would like to say a massive thank to our fantastic poster stars, Gurcharan, Julie, Maurice, Neil, Sharon, Rachel, Steve, Matt, Josh, Sandra, Emilia and Marva who gave their time to feature in our campaign.

Best wishes

Team Healthwatch

Share your experience of Dudley Group of Hospitals with CQC ahead of inspections

CQC LogoEngland’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals is inviting members of the public to tell his inspection panel what they think of the services provided by The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust.

Their views and experiences will help inspectors decide what to look at when they inspect the trust.

The trust is among the first to be inspected and given an overall rating under radical changes which have been introduced by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).  The formal inspection of The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust will start on 25 March 2014.

To ensure the views of patients and the local community are properly heard, the inspectors will be holding two listening events, both at 6.30pm on Tuesday 25 March.  The events will be held at Dudley Town Hall, Dudley and The Talbot Hotel in Stourbridge.

Click here to register and to find our more

Enter and View training for Healthwatch Dudley volunteers

Would you like to join the Healthwatch Dudley team as an Enter and View volunteer?volunteer

Why not join us for one of our training sessions on Wednesday 19th February 10am – 3pm  or Thursday 27th March 2014 10am – 3pm?

Healthwatch Dudley is looking for people with a friendly approach to join us for visits who:

  • Have a strong interest in improving health or social care services in Dudley borough.
  • Can show empathy, with good communication and active listening skills.
  • Have an ability to gather evidence-based information that is not loaded with personal opinion.
  • Understand the importance of not discriminating and being non-judgmental.
What is Enter and View?
Healthwatch Dudley has the power to access public / communal areas in any publicly funded health or social setting.  This could include:
  • Residential care or nursing homes
  • Disability day centres
  • Doctor and dentist waiting rooms
  • Hospital accident and emergency departments
  • Pharmacists
  • Opticians

Enter and View gives us the opportunity to listen to views of the public, patients, carers and relatives who access local health and social care services.

The information we gather could range from finding out about what care home residents think about meals and activities, to listening to patients experiences of hospital wards. The factual information gathered will be shared with key decision makers to improve local services for everyone.

Our training will cover:
  • An introduction to Healthwatch and Enter and View
  • The role, qualities and values of an authorised Enter and View representative
  • What is excellence in health and social care?
  • An introduction to safeguarding and dignity in care
  • Important skills for other Healthwatch Dudley volunteer roles
  • Available options for follow on e-learning 
You can expect on the day:
  • A warm welcome
  • The chance to meet other Healthwatch Dudley volunteers
  • A comfortable, accessible venue
  • Lunch and refreshments throughout the day
  • A chance to ask questions and to find out if this is the right role for you
Your trainers for the day will be:
  • Sarah Roper – Dudley MBC Safeguarding Team
  • Rob Dalziel – Healthwatch Dudley
  • Melissa Guest – Healthwatch Dudley
How do I book?
Call Ali on 01384 267427 or email
If you would like to attend but are not an existing Healthwatch Dudley Volunteer, you will be asked to complete an application process before being considered. For an informal chat about the training, please contact Rob or Melissa on the above number.
As Enter and View volunteers will potentially be in contact with vulnerable people we are to undertake a disclosure and barring (DBS) check for the role which replaced the CRB – criminal records bureau check.
Reasonable travel and out of pocket expenses will be provided on request.

Care Quality Commission mental health listening event and drop in sessions – February 12th

CQC LogoThe Care Quality Commission’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals is asking people in the West Midlands to tell him about the care provided by Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust at a series of events on February 12th.

England’s Chief Inspector of Hospitals is urging people in the West Midlands to tell his inspectors what they think of the services provided by Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust. Their views and experiences will help inspectors decide what to look at when they inspect.

Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust is one of the first five mental health trusts to be inspected under radical changes being introduced by the Care Quality Commission. The formal inspection by a team including clinical experts and people who have experience of using mental health services, will start on Tuesday, 25 February.

The Chief Inspector, Professor Sir Mike Richards, announced in November that CQC is taking a new approach, to put a greater emphasis on inspecting the care that people with mental health problems receive in the community, at the same time as inspecting services for people who are admitted to hospital for assessment or treatment.

To ensure the views of patients and the local community are properly heard, the inspectors will be holding a listening event at:

6.30pm on Wednesday, 12 February at Walsall Football Club, The Banks Stadium, Bescot Cresent, Walsall, WS1 4SA.

People are being encouraged to attend the listening event to find out more about the inspection process, to tell the team about their experiences of care and to say where they would like to see improvements made in the future.

Alongside this three further drop-in sessions have been organised and will be lead by mental health commissioners as follows:

11 – 12.30pm on 12 February at Bushey Fields Hospital (Dudley)
2.30 – 4pm on 12 February at Bloxwich Hospital (Walsall)
11 – 12.30pm on 13 February at Dorothy Pattison Hospital (Walsall)

Sir Mike said, “The new inspections are designed to provide us with a clear picture of the quality of the services, exposing poor or mediocre care as well as highlighting those trusts providing good and excellent care.

“The needs of people with mental health problems run through all CQC’s work. We have recognised that we need to strengthen our approach to regulating specialist mental health services to ensure that people get care that is safe, effective, caring, responsive to people’s needs and well led.

“Of course we will be talking to doctors and nurses, managers and people who use services in hospitals and in the community. But it is vital that we also hear the views of the people who have had care at Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust, or anyone who wants to share information with us, to help us plan our inspection, and so focus on those things that really matter to people who depend on this service.

“This is your opportunity to tell me and my team what you think, and to make a difference to the NHS services in Dudley and Walsall Mental Health Partnership NHS Trust area”

Anyone who wishes to give their views to the inspection team can do this in a number of ways:

By email:
By letter: CQC, Citygate, Gallowgate, Newcastle upon Tyne, NE1 4PA
By phone: 03000 61 61 61

Sir Mike’s inspection team will look in detail at a full range of services including acute admission wards for all age groups, psychiatric intensive care units and health-based places of safety, long stay forensic secure services, child and adolescent mental health services, services for older people including inpatient services and some community services, hospital and community services for people with learning disabilities or autism, adult community-based services including crisis services, and specialist eating disorder services.

A full report of the inspectors’ findings will be published by the Care Quality Commission.

About the Care Quality Commission

The Care Quality Commission (CQC) is the independent regulator of health and social care in England. We make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, caring, well-led and responsive care, and we encourage care services to improve. We monitor, inspect and regulate services to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and we publish what we find to help people choose care.

Meet the new Chair and Board for Healthwatch Dudley!

We are delighted to announce that Pam Bradbury has been appointed as the new chair of Healthwatch Dudley and will lead a brand new board of local people, who are all passionate about health and social care.

Pam’s fellow board members are Maria Bailey, Karen Bridgewater, Karen Garry, Tom Hayden, Sally Huband, Joseph Janjua and Bill Weston.

We would like to say a big thank you to the local people who joined our interview panel and workshop before Christmas and who gave us the feedback we needed to make such an important decision.

Pam Bradbury Chair

Pam Bradbury

Pam’s career so far has spanned almost 4 decades, gaining experience as a nurse, manager and leader in the NHS and as a professional advisor within the Department of Health.

Putting patients at the centre of local services has been key to her success and Pam is respected and recognised locally and nationally, as someone who works across professional and organisational boundaries, to ensure patients and the public get the highest quality service possible.

“I will bring a wealth of experience and professional integrity to ensure positive engagement with local commissioners, providers of care and with local people so that services can be designed with their needs at the centre.”

Pam has supported and motivated teams through significant system changes.  She has held operational and strategic positions and has developed a wide range of skills, experience and understanding of designing and delivering new services in partnership with commissioners, providers and consumers of health and social care.

Maria Bailey Board member

Maria Bailey

Maria has previously managed Birmingham City Council’s public and patient involvement contract and has worked closely with housing, homelessness, probation, public health, NHS mental health and adult and children’s social care to achieve improvements.

The focus of Maria’s work and study is the development of public services; evaluating quality and effectiveness, implementing improvement and redesign to meet the needs of local people.

“I am passionate that no one gets left behind, particularly vulnerable groups such as the homeless or people with mental ill health.  It feels good to be in a position to make a difference through being a board member with Healthwatch Dudley.”

Karen Bridgewater Board member

Karen’s work ensures that vulnerable people are supported in their own homes and she has developed an in-depth understanding of technology to help them to do this.  Karen has contact with local people on a daily basis and ensures that they receive quality information to ensure that they make important life decisions.  Karen also has experience of supporting people with learning disabilities, helping to move them from clinical into community settings enduring that the people involved had a voice and were able to express their views.

“I think it is important that we enable people to not only take responsibility for their own actions but also to be able to share their views of how health and social care can be shaped both now and in the future”.

Karen Garry Board member

Karen Garry

Karen is the chair of a board of governors at a Stourbridge primary school and has lots of experience with helping to develop new organisations, including Healthwatch in other areas.  Karen is an experienced researcher and has a background of reviewing services, analysing information, charting progress and gathering evidence of outcomes to make recommendations.

“Listening to people’s voices, views and experiences are essential when shaping local services, but it is what you do with them that is really matters.”

Tom Hayden Board member

Tom Hayden


Tom was has worked and volunteered in the Dudley voluntary sector since 2008. During this time Tom has worked extensively with numerous vulnerable groups including substance misusers, HIV positive adults and children, homeless people, and also the lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans community.

“I am a Dudley resident and have a genuine passion for recovery, community health and wellbeing.  I want to make sure that the needs of local people are fully taken into account as local services are planned and delivered.”

Sally Huband Board member

Sally Huband

Sally leads an independent charity which employs 40 staff, involves 300 volunteers and has an annual turnover of more than £800K.  Sally works strategically with Local Authority and local health partners and has experience of providing a range of key local services for older people which are supported by a variety of funders.  Sally has got extensive knowledge of the community and voluntary sector across Dudley borough with a particular focus on older people.

Sally is also Dudley CVS Director providing a link between both boards.

“I bring a willingness to give older people in particular, a voice and to ensure service improvements for everyone.”

Joseph Janjua Board member

Joseph is a retired Dudley resident with wide interests that include education, health, housing and minority issues.  Joseph volunteers to support his local community and is a board member of St Thomas’s Community Network.

“I hope to contribute a positive light from the knowledge I have gained, learning from past experience and improving services for the next generation of Dudley residents.”

Bill Weston Board member

Bill Weston

Bill was a former chair of a local disability action group and has represented people with a range of abilities, to ensure that they have a strong and influential voice.  Bill has also worked within the deaf community, a local sight loss charity and has supported vulnerable people as a befriender.


“I think it is important that someone with disabilities is involved at board level, to give a true reflection of the difficulties disabled people face and to build a stronger and better community.”