Healthwatch Harriet grills the bosses

Health / Sun 12th Feb 2017 at 04:12pm


SHE IS the next big thing in broadcasting and she doesn’t pull any punches. Cutting to the chase and getting answers to the questions that people daren’t ask, she commands respect not because of her years or experience, but through her sheer force of will. She is Healthwatch Harriet and she isn’t taking no for an answer.

If you can explain Sustainability and Transformation Plans (STPs) to a 10-year-old, you can explain it to anyone. That’s the thinking behind the latest film from Healthwatch Essex – the independent charity that listens to and represents the voice of users of health and care services in Essex.

Recently they rounded up some of the county’s most senior officers working in the health service today – including Chief Executive of Colchester and Ipswich Hospitals, Nick Hulme – and sat them down opposite Healthwatch Harriet for a grilling they wouldn’t forget in a hurry.

The work is part of the contribution being made by Healthwatch Essex to help people understand what the north-east Essex and Suffolk local health and care plan might mean to people and how they can get involved. NHS England asked for these proposals to help deliver the needs highlighted in the Five Year Forward View 2014.

“Over the coming years health and care services will be changed in a really significant way,” explained Tom Nutt, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Essex. “But unsurprisingly when you say ‘Sustainability and Transformation Plan’ to someone they generally glaze over.

“So, we felt there was a real need to help explain just how important they are and why people should have their say about what they want to achieve. Healthwatch Harriet has proved an innovative way to not only get health bosses to talk about STPs, but to do so in a way people can understand.”

With the NHS renowned for its jargon and acronyms, the film manages to cut through all the management speak, providing a clear picture of what the STP will mean and how the changes will impact.

The level of honesty about the process and the expectations is also clear for all to see in the film. From the ambition of the STP to the financial imperative that has made it necessary. As Nick Hulme remarks in the film, “What we’re doing is coming together to look to see how we can do things differently.”

Participants also included Sam Hepplewhite from North East Essex CCG, GP Dr Mark Shenton and Tom Nutt. Take a look at the film now on the Healthwatch Essex website at www.healthwatchessex.org.uk/what-we-do/our-films

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