Changes at Healthwatch Kirklees and Healthwatch Calderdale during the coronavirus outbreak
It’s important to Healthwatch Kirklees and Healthwatch Calderdale that we follow the guidance and advice issued by the government, Public Health England (PHE) and the World Health Organisation (WHO), as it helps us to take the right steps to protect the public, our staff, our volunteers and our stakeholders from the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19).
It has been necessary for Healthwatch in Kirklees and Calderdale to look at how we are delivering our services and establish if we should put precautions in place. These are the changes that we have made to our service at this time in response to the outbreak:
- All staff are working from their home rather than from one of our office bases – staff are equipped to work from home with secure access to our data, files and systems
- We have cancelled or will cancel our attendance at outreach sessions and events
- We will attend only essential meetings, and will aim to be present in other meetings by phone or video call
- We will make the best possible use of digital technology to make sure that our service runs as smoothly as possible, whilst being mindful that some people do not have access to the internet or a computer
- Our information and signposting service (and NHS Complaints Advocacy Service in Calderdale) will continue to be available, but this may be for shorter hours. If you call us and no one answers the phone, please leave a message and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.
We will continue to review our approach in line with the national guidance we are given, but at this time, we feel this is the best way to ensure people are safe.
We know that whilst we are not out and about in the communities of Kirklees and Calderdale, we are missing opportunities to talk to you and gather your feedback, so if you have something you want to share about a service you have used, please do not hesitate to get in contact with us.
For Healthwatch Kirklees:
Leave a review at www.healthwatchkirklees.co.uk/services/
Contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Call us on 01924 450379
Follow us on Twitter @hwkirklees or find us on Facebook (Search Healthwatch Kirklees)
For Healthwatch Calderdale:
Leave a review at www.healthwatchcalderdale.co.uk/services/
Contact us by email at email@example.com
Call us on 01422 399433
Follow us on Twitter @hwcalderdale or find us on Facebook (Search Healthwatch Calderdale)
How can Healthwatch help at this time?
We think that one of the main ways we can help is to make sure that we share clear and trustworthy information about the coronavirus outbreak. This means you can:
- check our website for information and resources
- follow our social media accounts which will we monitor closely and keep up to date
- rely on us to be checking in with local health and care services to get the most up to date information to share about what is available
- help us to myth-bust; if you see something that you think isn’t correct, but it is being widely shared, let us know and we can point you in the direction of trusted information
- At the moment, the key places we are checking for up to date information are:
Nhs.uk – for the most up to date guidance about what members of the public should do if they are ill with coronavirus, or how they can minimise the spread of the virus
Healthwatch England – for straightforward and easy to understand guidance about coronavirus for the public
Gov.uk – for information about how organisations, health settings and businesses should manage the outbreak
The National Centre for Voluntary Organisations (NCVO) – for information for voluntary sector organisations about how they should deliver their services and support their staff
Mental Health Foundation – for information about how anyone can take care of their mental health through this challenging and difficult time
We also think that one of the best ways that we can help is by encouraging the communities of Kirklees and Calderdale to be kind, caring and compassionate towards each other. We intend to share some helpful tips and positive messages to try to keep our spirits up. We will be working with our local voluntary sector and community groups to promote opportunities to volunteer to support people who might be facing more challenges across this time.
For information about getting involved as a volunteer in supporting your community to tackle coronavirus, please follow these links:
For Kirklees – contact firstname.lastname@example.org to find out more about volunteering
Take care of yourselves
The Healthwatch Kirklees and Healthwatch Calderdale Teams