Healthwatch Bulletin - Health, Social Care and COVID-19 (24.12.21)

Welcome to our Healthwatch bulletin. This includes an update on the COVID-19 vaccination programme and our regular bulletin on health, social care and COVID data.

Healthwatch bulletin, December 2021

Hello, welcome to our bulletin on health and social care and COVID-19. This is attached as a separate document for you to click on and download. 

We hope you are all keeping well and looking forward to Christmas.

This month:

- Read a message from our Chair and the Healthwatch team wishing you all a healthy, safe and restful Christmas.

- You can read our latest report examining patients’ experiences of being referred for an outpatients’ appointment. It showcases the core standards that patients themselves recommend should be applied to all communications.

- Read the latest on the dental crisis.

- Take our Healthwatch survey to share your experience of trying to get support from doctors’ surgeries.

- Find information and advice on what services are available over the festive period. 

- Read the latest announcements about COVID-19 and the vaccination roll out. 

Also within our bulletin:

1) Read advice and information on health and social care.

2) Read a range of articles including: the new plan for social care; take part in an Ageing survey; information about pharmacies, NHS 111 and prescriptions; updated guidance on care home visiting; children and young people’s mental; the Government's policy paper to support the Women's Health Strategy; news from University Hospitals Sussex - and much more!


Putting good communications with patients at the heart of service change (report)

This Healthwatch report is a review of patients’ experiences of being referred for an outpatients’ appointment. It showcases the core standards that patients themselves recommend should be applied to all the communications.

Healthwatch heard from 53 patients with contemporary experience about the communications they had received after being referred for an outpatients' appointment. This is what they told us.

Visit our website to read our report


Support in Brighton & Hove over the Christmas and New Year Period

Please visit our website to find information and advice on what services are available over the festive period. We have advice on accessing the following:

- NHS 111 and pharmacies 

- Mental health

- Foodbank Schedule Christmas Opening Times

- Brighton and Hove City Council Household support fund

- Information on key local support for food, fuel and money advice

Read more on our website


Have you needed to access your doctor’s surgery in the last six months?

Healthwatch teams across Sussex want to find out about your recent experience of accessing your doctors’ surgery/GP-led Services. We are interested in peoples’ experience of trying to get support from doctors’ surgeries.

The survey closes on Friday 31 December 2021.

This survey should take no more than 15 minutes to complete. If you need the survey in another format, please call us on 0300 012 0122 or email

Click here to take the survey


Social care: What is in the new plan?

Find out what's in the Government's new social care plan and how it compares with what people have told us.

The Government has published its ten-year vision for adult social care, with funding covering the next three years and further plans on improving social care over the next decade.

Read more by clicking here


Ageing survey

‘Always Possible’ are working with ‘Age UK’ West Sussex and Brighton & Hove to conduct some market research with people in the area focused on their expectations and concerns about ageing.

They are especially hoping to hear from people in the 40–60-year-old age group on a range of interests and lifestyle habits via a survey that will help ensure services developed now, will meet their needs in later life.

We would like as many people as possible to complete this survey (link below) between now and January 7th 2022 

Click here to take the survey


The NHS is urging everyone who is eligible not to delay getting their COVID-19 vaccinations – whether it is your 1st, 2nd or booster vaccine.

More than 30,000 appointments are available for people to book between now and the end of January.

There are also walk in sessions taking place across our communities, including every day next week – you don’t need an appointment you can simply turn up for a 1st, 2nd or booster vaccination.

You can see the latest list of sessions here: Walk-in vaccination sessions - Sussex Health & Care Partnership (

If you are eligible and you have not yet received your vaccination, Book through the NHS website or call 119 to arrange your appointment.

Please also see the separate attached document.

Click here to access details about vaccinations



There have been a number of important announcements and changes made in the last few weeks. We have tried to summarise these in our bulletin.

You can read about the changes directly on the website.

Changes announced include:

- Temporary suspension of the 15-minute wait after a vaccination for COVID-19

- Booster vaccinations available for anyone over 18, and plans to extend to 12-17 year olds

- a letter to patients containing important information about new treatments for coronavirus

- 2nd doses for 12-15 year olds

- the COVID vaccine should be offered to vulnerable five to 11-year-olds

- Self-isolation for COVID-19 cases to be reduced from 10 to 7 days following negative LFD tests

Looking for information about health and care?

Find advice and information to help you stay well and make decisions about your health and social care support.

Find advice and information