Healthwatch Southwark was established in April 2013 as the new health and social care consumer champion representing residents, service users, carers and organisations within borough.
We listen to the needs and experiences of Southwark residents on health and social care services and use our findings to influence the professionals who plan, buy and deliver services so that they can be improved.
Purpose of the role
Healthwatch Engagement Volunteers support the Healthwatch Southwark team to connect with the public about their experiences of using health and social care services in the borough. This is very much a public facing role. Volunteers enable us to reach more people, cover more services and topics, and hear diverse perspectives.
We use many different engagement methods, including running stalls, workshops, events, running surveys, carrying out 1:1 interviews, and conducting ‘Enter and View’ visits.
Local Healthwatch organisations have a statutory power to carry out ‘Enter and View’ visits, where trained members of staff and Healthwatch volunteers visit publicly-funded health and care services to observe and to talk with service users, carers, relatives and staff about their experiences.
- To understand the aims of Healthwatch and what we do to deliver against these.
- To help organise and run engagement activities and events, where we:
- publicise the health and social care services available to residents
- share the findings of our own work completed on our priority areas.
- To talk with patients, service users, families, carers and members of the public about their views and experiences of using health and social care services.
- To accompany Healthwatch staff on Enter and View visits to health and social care services and interview staff, patients, relatives and carers.
- To help compile information gathered from engagement with the public on health and social care servies and provide feedback on the emerging themes.
- To communicate effectively with a diverse community of people.
- To have interest in and a good understanding of people’s possible support needs.
- To present information in a clear and unambiguous way.
- To engage and listen to others and be empathetic.
- To keep accurate records of dialogue (conversations, meetings etc.).
- To be punctual and reliable.
- To be availabile to attend training, meetings and events when requested to do so.
We ask our volunteers for a minimum commitment of 6 months. Engagement activities are usually no more than half a day in duration and we try to plan these well in advance to accommodate individuals’ availability.
Volunteers will receive the training, information and support needed to fulfil their role.
Volunteers who carry out Enter and View visits must have received a recent standard DBS check, and have completed the relevant training with us.