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Healthwatch Blackpool launches new website with feedback centre tool

Healthwatch Blackpool has launched a new website with an online engagement tool called Feedback Centre.

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Created by software specialist LHM, the new site will help people in Blackpool share their experiences about local health and social care services.

The new online Feedback Centre will be accessible via a variety of devices including mobile phones, desktop PCs and tablets, just by going to the Healthwatch Blackpool website.

People will be able to easily rate and share experiences that they received in an engaging and simple way from wherever they are. Recent research has shown that half of the public who considered complaining about NHS services did not. Many people were put off because they expected the process to be too bureaucratic and others believed it would make no difference.

The online patient feedback data will be part of a much larger dataset being collected by Healthwatch Blackpool which it will use to analyse the public’s views of health and social care. More traditional methods of patient experiences will also be collected, such as the telephone, social media, paper-based feedback, and public engagement events.

Healthwatch Blackpool believes that by helping patients and service users to more easily express their views we can improve health and social care.

Sheralee Turner-Birchall, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Blackpool, said: “The Feedback Centre tool will support our digital engagement strategy. We have much to be proud of in the health and social care services people in Blackpool use every day, and we should recognise and celebrate this. But sometimes things go wrong and need improving, and the voice of our community must be heard to help get things right.

“Healthwatch Blackpool’s aim is to make sure that the patient voice comes through loud and clear to the professionals who make decisions about health and social care within our local services.

“That is why we have developed a simple yet powerful system which is accessible to the widest possible group of people from wherever they are. This will also be supported by our new Facebook group ‘Voice Box Online’ open to members of the public of all ages and backgrounds who are experts in their own communities.

“Millions of people every day use online review systems to give their opinion about other services or products they have bought or used. We want to harness that behaviour to get patients, users and their families to share their full experiences of local services: the excellent and the good, as well as where things need to improve.

“We hope that by creating a familiar tool that we will be able to engage many more people in celebrating and improving health and social care here in Blackpool.”

Healthwatch Blackpool is one of 148 local Healthwatch groups set up by the government as part of health reforms set out in the Health and Social Care Act in 2012. Its job is to ensure that the voice of patients, users and the public is at the heart of NHS and care services. Healthwatch Blackpool gathers patient views and represents those views to local organisations and makes sure they are taken account of.