Who are Healthwatch Essex?
Healthwatch Essex is an independent voice for the people of Essex. They are present to understand the lived experiences of people who use health and social care services in the county and to make sure their voices are heard and responded to.
Healthwatch Essex also provides an information service to help people access, understand, and navigate the health and social care system.
What Healthwatch Essex do
Healthwatch Essex captures the voice and lived experience of the people of Essex through a range of activities. This includes:
- Undertaking innovative engagement and rigorous research activities to build up a detailed picture of people’s lived experiences;
- Improving access to information about health and social care services and answering your questions via our telephone information service;
- Recruiting and training a thriving network of volunteers (known as ‘Ambassadors’), who are the ‘eyes and ears’ of Healthwatch Essex, and help them liaise with organisations across the statutory and voluntary sectors;
- Working with community and voluntary groups to find out what’s important to the people of Essex.
Healthwatch Essex’s work covers the whole of Essex, excluding Southend and Thurrock. This is a population of almost 1.5 million people with wide-ranging concerns and needs. They believe people’s lived experience really matters and they have powers in law, set out in the Health and Social Care Act 2012, to make their voice heard.
What is ‘lived experience’?
‘Lived experience’ describes people’s first-hand accounts of their health and care. How people experience health and care services is affected by their own personal circumstances (for example, do they have a family? are they in work?). Healthwatch Essex wants to promote an understanding of what it means to be a user of health and social care in Essex in the twenty-first century, and to use this insight to help improve services for everyone.
View the Healthwatch Essex website for more information.