Healthwatch Salford are encouraging the community to get involved in improving health and social care across the city through their bi-monthly online forum events.
The forum is a space for Salford residents to talk openly about their experiences of health and social care provisions in the city, and the impact that being involved in the various aspects of the care system has on their daily lives. There will also be a selection of guest speakers from the city’s health and social care organisations, who will be able to provide attendees with a greater insight into how these services are delivered across Salford.
Alex Leach, Chief Officer for Healthwatch Salford, feels that these sessions are a vital chance for Salfordians to have their say on how health and care services are run in their local community: “Healthwatch Salford host these bi-monthly community forums as another platform for members of the public to come together with health and social care professionals to discuss issues affecting the Salford population.
“As an independent charity, Healthwatch Salford is keen to continue to learn of what is working well and what Salford people feel needs to be improved in terms of our health and care services.”
Across Salford, there are an estimated 35,000 people aged over 65, with one report suggesting Salford’s older population “often receive fragmented care, and are not enabled to care for themselves.” In addition to this, around 10% of 5-16-year-olds in Salford have sought help for mental health problems, according to the latest Salford Locality Plan. Therefore, as the needs of those receiving care in Salford is so diverse, it is essential that residents have the opportunity to bring their individual issues to light.
Focusing this month’s event on the theme of ‘Equality’ means Alex hopes that a more diverse range of people will be encouraged to participate: “We have a theme for each community forum as a discussion topic, though participants have opportunities to raise comments on any element of health and care services. For this forum, we would be very interested to hear from those people who may otherwise not get to speak up about how they have accessed health and care services during the last year.
“Our forums are free to attend and open to anyone living or working within Salford. They are conducted in a friendly manner with no pressure put upon anyone to make a contribution – you can just listen to what is being said.”
The forum will take place this Thursday between 10am and 12:30pm. If you would like to get involved in the forum, you can book your place online on Healthwatch Salford’s website, or via their Eventbrite link. Alternatively, you can call the Healthwatch office on 0330 355 0300 to book your place.