Age Alliance Loneliness and Isolation report launch

Age Alliance Experience of loneliness and isolation amongst older people in Dudley borough report coverHealthwatch Dudley is part of Age Alliance in Dudley, an informal partnership which brings together older people and supporting organisations.

Last summer the alliance worked together to listen to older people’s views about loneliness and isolation.  Healthwatch Dudley staff and volunteers supported by helping to complete over 450 surveys in supermarkets and town centres.  We asked questions about people’s direct experiences of loneliness, isolation and their knowledge of services that offer support.

The work was presented at a conference at Brierley Hill Civic Hall on National Older People’s Day last October, where decision makers listened to older people and made a commitment to including the learning in future work plans.

Following the conference a report has been produced which includes recommendations around better promotion of preventative services, support for carers, communication, bereavement support and the need for more intergenerational work.

This is an important piece of work for Healthwatch Dudley to be involved with as local people’s views and experiences have sat at the heart of the process.  We would like to say a big thank you to our volunteers and to Dudley College health and social care students, for supporting us to be involved so fully, from carrying out interviews, to ensuring the data was entered quickly and accurately.  We would also like recognise the time and energy that fellow members of Age Alliance, many who are volunteers themselves, have given to leading on this research.

We are delighted to share the full report ahead of its official launch in February by the Mayor of Dudley which can be downloaded here.

 

 

Drop in to Healthwatch Dudley every Friday morning

Healthwatch Dudley Drop-in logoHealthwatch Dudley has moved to a new community venue in Dudley town centre!

You will still be able to find us in Brierley Hill but as our new Dudley office is in the same building as a fantastic community cafe, we thought it would be a perfect place to host weekly Healthwatch Dudley drop-in sessions.

Every Friday morning between 9.30am and 12 noon, staff will be on hand at the Lunch on the Run Cafe @ dy1, to listen to your views and experiences, or to point you in the right direction with information about local health and care services.

And on the first and third Friday of every month (from 2nd October) we have teamed up with the Dudley CVS Carer Co-ordinator and Dudley Carers Network to host Tea and Chat for Carers.  These  informal drop in sessions are for carers to meet each other and to find support from local organisations.  Click here to download a flyer.

You can find us at dy1, Stafford Street, Dudley DY1 1RT or get in touch for more information.

 

New monthly event for local carers

Carers AmbleWe have teamed up with Saltwells Nature Reserve and Dudley Carers Co-ordinators to host a new event for local carers.

Our first Saltwells Carers Amble took place in August and we had a great turnout from local carers and the people who they support.

Dudley borough carers were invited to join us for a gentle amble through accessible woodland trails, take some time out for themselves or bring along the person who they care for, to enjoy the beautiful surroundings and sculpture trail.   During the walk staff from local organisations were on hand to give information about local services that carers can tap into.

We have been asked to make the amble a regular event and have planned for walks to take place on the second Thursday of each month.   Meet up is at 12.30pm on the nature reserve car park on Saltwells Lane, DY5 1AX. Click here for directions.  

You will get the chance to meet and chat with other carers and people will be on hand from local services to discuss help available in Dudley borough. The route is not demanding, is generally flat and everyone is welcome.

The stroll will end with a pub lunch at 1.30pm at the Saltwells Inn where there is a full menu or carvery starting from £3.99.  No need to book, just turn up.

For more information contact us or call Alan Preece, Saltwells Nature Reserve Senior Warden on 01384 812795 or email alan.preece@dudley.gov.uk

Click here to download a flyer

Welcome to our second annual report

Healthwatch Dudley is your champion for health and wellbeing.

Healthwatch Dudley Annual Report Cover 2014-15 PNG imageWe listen to what you have got to say and share your experiences with people who make important decisions about health and care services in Dudley borough.  Every year we produce a report which highlights how we have been making a difference and we are delighted to share our 2014/15 annual report.  Download a copy of our report here or contact us for more information.  We would love to hear what you think!

The People’s Network – for people who are passionate about care and support

People's Network logo - mages include brightly coloured hands and a pink bird

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

Every two months people who access care and support services come together with people who provide local services 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 who attend decide what should happen at each event, previous People’s Network events have focussed on:

Information and Technology – how technology is helping people to access local services through websites such as Dudley Community Information Directory and practical support through Dudley Council’s Telecare service.  People who attended also got to the the new Living Well Feeling Safe online tool Living Well Feeling Safe Online

Support for Carers – 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.

Do you want to join the People’s Network?

Book your place for the next People’s Network

Everyone is welcome but if you are attending from a local organisation, we would like to encourage you to attend with someone who you support.

 

Tell us what you think about the new Urgent Care Centre

Dudley walk in centre is movingHolly Hall Walk-In Centre closed its doors on April 1st 2015 and the the new Urgent Care Centre is now accessible through the Russells Hall Hospital emergency department.  Find out more about the new service here.

As with any change in access to local health services we are really keen to hear your views.  Tell us what you think using our online formdrop us an email or have a chat with the team.

Introducing the People’s Network!

Are you passionate about adult social care in Dudley borough?

People's Network logo - mages include brightly coloured hands and a pink birdWe are! Which is why we have teamed up with Dudley Council and Making it Real to launch a new People’s Network.  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 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 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 and everyone is welcome!

Download more information

Flying start for hospital ‘tea and chat’ service

CarersCarers Rights Day in November was marked with a new hospital tea and chat service which has got off to a flying start.  Since it’s launch more than 500 people have been given information about the support available for carers in Dudley borough.

 

‘Tea and Chat’ was set up by Dudley CVS and hospital Carer Coordinator Sharon McGlynn with the support of Healthwatch Dudley, in a bid to identify hidden carers.  Hidden carers are people who care for a relative, friend or a loved one but don’t receive any help or support.

The service is available one afternoon each week on the wards of Russells Hall Hospital at during visiting times between 2pm & 4pm.  Trained Healthwatch Dudley and hospital volunteers offer patients and their visitors a warm drink, a friendly chat and the chance to find out more about the help, support or benefits that carers can tap into.

Tea and chat tea trollyThe free service is part of the Dudley Group of Hospitals NHS Trust charity and is funded entirely through donations.  Sainsbury’s supermarket in Merry Hill initially backed the service by providing a tea trolley and refreshments.

Sharon McGlynn said, “Often people don’t realise that they have become a carer so miss out on the support that’s out there.  Offering people a cup of tea and having a chat is a very easy way to share important information.  We have now visited most in patient areas and will continue to do so as have received such a positive response from patients, their relatives, staff and from our volunteers who are enjoying making such a big difference”.

Our Chief Officer Jayne Emery added, “Carers are a big priority for Healthwatch Dudley and we have also got an important information giving role, so are delighted to support this great initiative. Our volunteers are really enjoying being involved and looking forward, this will be a helpful way for us to listen to and gather the experiences of local people accessing services at Russells Hall Hospital”.

Sharon McGlynn can be contacted on 01384 573381/ 07435 754386 or email carers@dudleycvs.org.uk for more information.

Care Act Workshops in October and November

The Care Act represents the most significant reform of care and support in more than 60 years, putting people and their carers in control of their care and support. For the first time, the Act will put a limit on the amount anyone will have to pay towards the costs of their care. Crucially, the Act delivers key elements of the government’s response to the Francis Inquiry into the awful events at Mid Staffordshire hospital, increasing transparency and openness and helping drive up the quality of care across the system.

Care Act Call OutCare and support is something that nearly everyone in this country will experience at some point in their lives; even if you don’t need care yourself, you will probably know a family member or friend who does, or you may care for someone. And many more of us will need care in the future so it is important for us to have a modern system that can keep up with the demands of a growing ageing population.

In preparations for April 2015 when the Care Act will be implemented,  we have teamed up with Dudley Council and other local partners to hold a series of bite-sized, topic based, workshops during October and November. The topics for these workshops are taken from the Department of Health Care Act factsheets.

All sessions to be held in the Main Hall, Methodist Church, Bank Street, Brierley Hill unless otherwise stated.

Workshop 1 “Information and Prevention in a Nutshell”
Tuesday 7th October 2014, 10.00 till 12.30 Venue: Insight House, Parsons Street, Brierley Hill

Workshop 2 “Social Care – What does the Care Act mean for eligibility to care and support”
Wednesday 8th October 2014, 10.00 till 12.30

Workshop 3 “Social Care – Who Pays & Self Funders in a Nutshell”
Wednesday 15th October 2014, 10.00 till 12.30

Workshop 4 “Integration and Personalisation in a Nutshell”
Wednesday 22nd October 2014, 10.00 till 12.30

Workshop 5 “Safeguarding People in Dudley in a Nutshell”
Wednesday 29th October , 10.00 till 12.30

Workshop 6 “Caring for the Carers in a Nutshell”
Thursday 6th November, 10.00 till 12.30

Workshop 7 “Shaping the Market and Continuity of care in a Nutshell”
Wednesday 12th November 2014, 10.00 till 12.30

Workshop 8 “Moving from Children’s to Adult social care in a Nutshell”
Wednesday 19th November 2014, 10.00 till 12.30

Workshop 9 “Regulation in Healthcare in a Nutshell”
Wednesday 26th November 2014, 10.00 till 12.30

Click on the links above to book a place or visit: http://makingitrealindudley.org/care-act/  for more information.

If you would like to book over the telephone please contact Karen Heath on 01384 816955 or e-mail Karen on Karen.heath@dudley.gov.uk

Government factsheets about the Care Act can be downloaded here.

Click here to download and print a flyer for these workshops.

 

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 athttp://community-info-point-launch.eventbrite.co.uk