Retired university lecturer and nurse Tim Snashall decided to become a Healthwatch Lancashire volunteer to use the skills he gained in healthcare. After retiring the 63-year-old found he wanted to continue using his knowledge for the benefit of others so becoming a Healthwatch Lancashire was the perfect solution. Tim has been volunteering since 2013 and finds his expertise lies in being a PLACE (Patient Lead Assessment of the Care Environment) Assessor where he is tasked with assessing a hospital service to provide an annual snap shot that gives hospitals a clear picture of how their environment is seen by those using it, and how they can improve.
“You really feel like you are doing something useful,” added Tim. “I am interested in nursing care and quality and it is really fulfilling to know that your comments are heard and that they are taken on-board. What’s really important too is that the particular service you are assessing does want to work with you because they know it’s of benefit to everyone.”
“There are always different volunteering opportunities arising and I feel that we can make a difference because Healthwatch Lancashire is fast becoming a body that people listen to because they themselves listen to the public.”
“Healthwatch Lancashire is there to help and inform the people of Lancashire and it’s great to be a volunteer who is part of that process.”
64-year-old Judith Daniels from Chorley has been a volunteer for Healthwatch Lancashire since August 2014. Judith, who is registered blind, is now retired but previously worked for Action for Blind People and the Royal Preston Hospital and said she decided to become a volunteer so she could give her input into how health and social care services in Lancashire are run.
She said: “The element of volunteering that interests me most is being a Mystery Shopper. I basically take a look at certain services, ask questions and then make reports on my findings.”
“It’s a great way of looking at how patients are treated and if things change for the better because of what you learn then that means other people benefit. It’s my opportunity to be the voice of other people and hopefully to make things better for them.”
“Healthwatch Lancashire really does have some clout and can make a difference when it’s necessary because people do listen to them and I am pleased to be a part of that.”