Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham
What is Healthwatch?
The Healthwatch network is made up of 152 local Healthwatch organisations, along with HealthWatch England. Local Healthwatch organisations, such as Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham, act as champions for people in their local community who use health and care services. Their role is to listen to what people have to say about their local services, and share this feedback with the providers of services so they can improve and better meet the needs of the community. These findings are also shared with Healthwatch England, which connects the individual local Healthwatch organisations and ensure that local voices can be heard on a national level.
In August 2017, LifeLine Projects became the new providers of Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham. The team is currently made up of Richard and Manisha, supported by a number of trained volunteers.
Recent updates from Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham
There have been growing concerns in recent years over a rise in a sedentary lifestyles among young people—much has been said of the rise of technology such as social media playing a role. And we can see this starkly at a local level: even before the pandemic, research has shown that Barking and Dagenham has had one of the lowest levels of participation in physical activity across all of London.
The word ‘ubuntu’ expresses the African philosophy of wholeness – it presupposes that one’s humanity is bound up with nature and with other people in the community. A popular idiom in many African communities is ‘one is an animal but two is a community’: humanity comes through being part of the community; all human beings are members of an extended family.
We have all had to adapt the way we work and deliver services for the safety of staff, volunteers, and the public. The coronavirus pandemic has changed many things, but particularly the ways that health and care are being provided.
Healthwatch staff have been pivotal in LifeLine’s response via BD CAN – co-ordinating the vital provision of food and medicines to those who are shielding, vulnerable or self-isolating. The team have moved from the usual face-to-face public engagement work to