Healthwatch Blackpool is the independent public voice for health and social care in our area.

We know that people want health and social care support that works for them – helping them to stay well, get the best out of services, and manage any conditions they face.

We believe that the best way to do this is by providing the people of Blackpool with opportunities to share their views and experiences.

We want to listen and hear what you like about services in Blackpool and what you think should be improved.

Listening first hand to experiences opens up real opportunities for improvement that may not have been considered before. Healthwatch Blackpool was established following the introduction of the Health and Social Care Act in 2012.

Would you like to be part of influencing services for the future?

If so, get in touch today!

Healthwatch Blackpool will be the ‘go-to’ organisation for all members of the public in the county to talk about their experiences of health and social care.

Your Local Healthwatch

A film highlighting the work of Healthwatch and how your voice makes a difference to the way health and social care services are run.

What we do…

Healthwatch Blackpool is a public voice on health and social care. This means that we represent the interests of the residents of Blackpool.

Healthwatch Blackpool makes sure that your views on health and social care services are listened to by those who manage and run local health and social care providers, report concerns to the health regulator, the Care Quality Commission, and feed intelligence on a national level to Healthwatch England.

What we do

Healthwatch Blackpool gathers intelligence by engaging with residents, listening to comments, compliments and concerns and ensuring that these views and experiences are heard by those who run, plan and regulate health and social care services in Blackpool.

In addition, we will:
  • Represent the views of the public via Health and Wellbeing boards set up by local authorities.
  • Report concerns about the quality of health care to Healthwatch England, which can then recommend that the Care Quality Commission take action.
  • Identify local and national trends and raise awareness of these to the relevant organisations.
  • Signpost members of the public to services in Blackpool including information services, clinical commissioning groups, complaints and advocacy services.
  • Work in collaboration with health and social care providers in Blackpool to ensure comments are listened to and to promote best practice.
  • Develop creative projects and activities to capture views of vulnerable people in society or those who are seldom heard.

How we do it…

Healthwatch Blackpool has a number of tools for engaging with members of the public to gather their views and experiences.

Our regular activities include:

Enter & View

Enter and View in health and social care settings – engagement undertaken in a variety of settings e.g. care homes, hospitals, GPs etc. enabling the public to share their experience.

Patient Engagement Days

Similar to Pop Ups but undertaken in health and social care settings• Mystery shopping – we use this approach when appropriate to anonymously evaluate the patient/service user experience.

Mystery Shopping

Healthwatch Blackpool staff and volunteers visit health and care providers anonymously, acting as though they are using the service.

This enables the mystery shoppers to assess how well the providers perform, in terms of customer service and information provision. Mystery shoppers complete questionnaires after each visit, recording their findings.

Mystery shopping only shows us how the provider is performing on that particular day. Mystery shopping is also subjective, as shoppers record their personal view of how they are treated by the provider they visit. But it is great tool to use when we want to explore specific services in more depth. We often use it in combination with other types of research.

Pop Ups

Staffed information points designed to capture public feedback in a range of venues and settings including bus stations, colleges, credit unions, homeless shelters, and other targeted community locations

Care Circles

Focus groups designed to provide ‘round the table’ discussions in a safe and familiar setting. These are adapted dependent on needs and regularly reviewed to ensure engagement is accessible and inclusive.

PLACE Assessments

Good environments matter but don’t just happen. Patient-led Assessments of the Care Environment (PLACE) help hospital organisations understand how well they are meeting the needs of their patients and identify where improvements can be made.

Healthwatch Blackpool’s volunteers have supported ten trusts and independent organisations by taking part in 35 days of PLACE assessments this year and the results have now been published by Health and Social Care Information Centre (HSCIC), the organisation responsible for ensuring all health settings conduct the assessments.

PLACE assessments are undertaken annually across all hospitals, hospices and independent treatment centres proving NHS funded care across the UK.

Hosting Event

We facilitate partnership events in local community settings giving the public and voluntary, charity and faith sector organisations a platform to learn about and scrutinise upcoming changes in the NHS.

Case Studies

Through our online reporting system ‘Have Your Say’ where the public can raise concerns or share best practice about local health and social care services.• Signposting – we have a dedicated phone number and web site to enable our signposting function. Additionally, all work undertaken by Healthwatch Blackpool is shared publicly and is easily accessible, e.g. a patient thinking of changing GP or finding a care home for a loved one might consider one of our reports when making a decision rather than a more technical document, such as CQC reports. We encourage the public to sign up for e-bulletins so that they are kept informed on any reported findings within health and social care services locally.

Healthwatch Blackpool Team

Beth Martin

Healthwatch Blackpool Coordinator

Sarah Thornley

Project Officer

Mike Verity

Volunteer