Asking people 'what matters to you?' (instead of 'what is the matter with you?') is a key challenge for the health and social care sector as a whole - one that’s difficult to implement consistently.
At all commissioning levels there is a need to understand what matters to people using services, how this varies by locality and audience, and how the system can deliver place-based care more effectively. People and partners collaborating to discover better ways of working underpins the whole notion of integrated health and care.
To address these needs, Healthwatch Cornwall has teamed up with Made Open to launch the 'Ask Cornwall and Isles of Scilly' online platform. This is a social platform where citizens and people working within the health and care system can speak freely to each other, share their views, make connections and engage in discussion topics that matter to them.
This co-productive approach will help service users, patients and professionals to nurture and develop relationships. Long-term goals are to help staff and associates understand the value of public engagement and co-production in service design.
Platform benefits include:
- ✔ Helping people to engage in the health and social care agenda and provide feedback.
- ✔ Feeding peoples' ideas, perspectives and priorities directly into system transformation.
- ✔ Helping commissioners and providers of integrated health and social care services to receive real-time feedback.
- ✔ Enabling service users, patients and professionals to form collaborative team spaces tackling key issues.
- ✔ Empowering people to make a difference and be more involved in future research.
As an independent charity, Healthwatch Cornwall will administrate and moderate the platform - ensuring that the public voice is heard and gathering feedback to ensure that action is taken.
The platform will be trialled in Cornwall in 2020. Initially, Healthwatch Cornwall will use the platform to engage a small number of community members in discussion about topics such as health and well-being priorities, and community hospitals. The platform is open to anyone however. Strategic health and social care partners will also use the platform to ask for opinions and start groups on a range of topics affecting communities.