Agenda item

Oxfordshire Healthwatch Report



Healthwatch Oxfordshire will report on the views gathered on health care in Oxfordshire.



The Committee considered the report submitted by Healthwatch Oxfordshire summarising views on the public on the health system.  Rosalind Pearce, Executive Director, added that Healthwatch had published a report on ear wax removal the morning of the meeting.  The Chair asked her to highlight some points from it:


·         173 people responded to the online survey, most of them over 50, over half of them 65-79 years old, 90% identified as ‘White British’.

·         Many had experienced the ear wax service at General Practices and were surprised that this was no longer available in many cases.

·         The cost of going privately was prohibitive for some.

·         The recommendations were:

o   There must be clear guidance for the public on self-help etc.

o   In the context of health inequalities, consider offering more support to those who were finding it difficult to access treatment.

o   Provide a preliminary check with a qualified member of staff to avoid unnecessary visits to providers.

o   All GPs should be required to provide information on the providers.

o   Providers should be required to display information on qualifications and training

·         Healthwatch will monitor the impact and the take up of the new service


Rosalind Pearce also updated the Committee on the response by the Oxfordshire Adult Safeguarding Board to their report on the ‘secret shopper’ exercise related to reporting safeguarding issues.  The phone number has been made more prominent and the form has been shortened.


Rosalind Pearce commented on a number of issues that had arisen during the meeting:

·         There had been a lot of talk about staff shortages but very little about recruitment and retention plans.

·         In the Health and Wellbeing performance report, under some items it was noted that they had stopped reporting due to the pandemic.  Did that mean that they stopped recording the data?  Also, there should always be an explanation provided for Red ratings.

·         It would have been helpful to have other participants from the Board available when receiving the annual report.


Healthwatch priorities for the next year were to listen to voices seldom heard by the system; examine digital exclusion; access to primary care and waiting times and also a piece of work to understand why people choose not to be referred for treatment outside Oxfordshire to help with planning in management of pressures on the system.


Members welcomed the introduction of number-plate recognition systems at the John Radcliffe and Churchill hospitals.  The question was asked if it was to be introduced at the Nuffield.


There was further discussion of the data provided by the Health and Wellbeing Board and ways in which the Committee could help.  Rosalind Pearce added that it was important to have qualitative data as well.


Ansaf Azhar, Director for Public Health, responded that the Board’s data was owned by all of the partners together.  It was possible to provide data on trends but not for all items.  He emphasised the importance of identifying priorities which could then be the subject of a ‘deep dive’.



Rosalind Pearce undertook to send the report on ear wax removal to the Committee for circulation and to find out if the number recognition system was to be introduced at the Nuffield.


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