Healthwatch Norfolk’s new Community Conversation Hub

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Click here to read information on the status of Community Action Norfolk's Services. As well as links to other information and advice
This website uses cookies. You can read more about how we use your personal data in our Privacy Notice

Healthwatch Norfolk has launched a new interactive platform as a new way for the public to have its say.  The patient experience organisation has, in response to continued COVID-19 restrictions, and acknowledging that opportunities for people to have their say about local services is still limited, released the new platform to improve public participation in NHS and social care services. 

Joining the conversation 

People who join ‘conversations’ on the new site will be offered a number of ways to share their experience. Examples include joining virtual discussion rooms and interactive maps, where users can reply and react to other people’s comments. Alternatively, users can take part in quick polls or ‘like’ each other’s proposals, which are pinned on virtual notice boards.  

Three main conversation topics have been opened to begin with: 

  • COVID-19 vaccinations 
  • dentistry  
  • mental health services 

- but Healthwatch promises more to follow in the coming months.   

Alex Stewart, CEO of Healthwatch Norfolk, explains “Surveys are an important part of what we do, but they can feel quite impersonal and we are very conscious of survey fatigue among the public. Unfortunately, we are still in a situation where our staff cannot be in the community speaking with people directly, but it is still vitally important that people have an outlet to voice their opinions, especially in such difficult times. 

Since COVID hit we have heard from thousands of people in Norfolk. We want to continue this trend by offering people a more interactive experience that they can partake in from the comfort of their own home.”  

Partnering and collaborating 

Healthwatch hopes to partner with Norfolk’s larger NHS and social care organisations, including local authorities and hospitals, to offer patients and service users of these services a more interactive way to talk about their experiences. The organisation also wants to collaborate with organisations in Norfolk that support community health and wellbeing, so that even while we are still having to keep our distance from each other, patients and service users feel they have an outlet to express their views and experiences. 

The platform is part of a wider trial being conducted nationally by Healthwatch England but will be available for people in Norfolk to use until the summer. If the pilot is successful, the software may be available for the public in the longer-term.  

Who can contribute?

Healthwatch’s new platform is free for any member of the public to sign up for and offers an interactive participatory experience in a climate where face-to-face contact is still limited. The public can access the Community Conversation Hub here.   

Healthwatch gathers people’s views of health and social care services from across Norfolk and make sure they are heard by the people who fund and provide those services. Whether those views reflect a good or bad experience, they can help to make changes to services in Norfolk. The invitation has always been to join the conversation and, if appropriate, to become involved in facilitating change where needed. Find out more here.