HEALTHWATCH NEED YOUR HELP TO CORRECTLY TARGET NHS SERVICES IN THE BOROUGH
Healthwatch Tower Hamlets (HWTH) was formed to help ensure that service users (you – the patient) has an effective input into the provision of health services throughout the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.
The meeting was held at the East Tarling Community Centre at Shadwell.
The formalities of the AGM were run by Dianne Barham, the Chief Executive of HWTH, and went as most AGM’s do. Nothing unxpected, other than there being around twice the number of people present than they had expected, which meant them having to carry chairs past the speaker and the screen throughout the presentation. This also meant that there was a requirement for a PA system, as due to background noise it often proved difficult to hear what was being said.
My biggest worry for them is that because of the financing system, they are forced to use up all of their funding by the end of each financial year, otherwise the next years funding will be proportionately reduced. This means that at the end of each year the organisation are in effect bankrupt, and totally dependant on the grant from LBTH to come through and keep them in operation. As I have experienced how unreliable grants from LBTH are, I am concerned that there is no sign of any fallback procedure.
(Another concern I have since noticed is that as they say on their “About Us” page on their website that they are an independant charity, I can see no sign of a registered charity number displayed on either their website or their literature.)
Then came the Community Listening Event. It was here that we discovered just how far from satisfactory the service provision in this borough has been.
Many community and health groups were represented, and they all voiced genuine failures in service provision.
I will not list every problem expressed, as they are ones which have been commented on many times before as we as several new ones, which seem to be caused by limiting of funds. But one problem kept recurring, that there was a disasterous lack of centralisation of information available as to what services and support groups operating within the Tower Hamlets area were available to people, and how they could be contacted. This made yours truly’s ears pop up. This entire problem could be solved by a blog listing and linking the services operating in the area. Ironically, I had been considering this exact problem for some time now, so I offered to run up a site to see if it were practicable.
The meeting finished with a lovely free meal for all attending.
Therefore, I will now be running up a new blogsite provisionally titled “Health Support Database for Tower Hamlets”, (it sounds a bit dull, but it’s practical) which I hope to have on line in a basic form in the next week. I expect this site will have to be updated on an almost daily basis, so I expect this to tie me down for quite a while (subject to my physical condition).
If you would like to be kept informed of the progress of this site, or are part of an organisation you would like included, please leave your contact details below, and I will come back to you as soon as possible, but please be patient. I will be arranging a separate e-mail for the new site soon, so please do not use my current one for matters regarding this site.
I took a few photo’s of the meeting, which will be on a slideshow below. It may take a minute or two for the slideshow to load. Enjoy.