Healthwatch Bulletin - Health, Social Care and COVID-19 (16.4.21)

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.
A couple of kids

Your experiences of the vaccination programme

From February 13th 2021, Healthwatch Brighton and Hove explored people’s experiences and views about the COVID-19 vaccine. We have completed some initial analysis of the 2,102 responses that we received which you can read here


The COVID-19 Vaccine Enquiry Line

This was set up in response to the increased number of email and telephone enquiries received by the Sussex clinical Commissioning Groups since the start of the COVID-19 Vaccination Programme. The phone line went live on 4th February 2021. Healthwatch volunteers have been providing invaluable support since day one taking calls,  conducting call-backs and answering emails.

Read more here


Volunteer with us

Have you ever considered volunteering for Healthwatch?

An essential part of our role is to learn more about the patient experience of using services. Our volunteers are currently making vital phone calls to patients who have recently been discharged from hospital, gathering their experiences and at the same time signposting them to vital services. They are also taking calls from the public and answering their queries about the COVID-19 Vaccine programme.

We are therefore looking for additional help to speak to patients and members of the public. If you are interested in learning more about these projects do please get in touch by emailing us

Both roles offer complete flexibility in terms of the hours and days you can be involved. Weekend working is also possible, and the roles can easily be performed at home. Training and support is provided, and your expenses are all covered. We are happy to chat to you about the projects if you want to find out more, or we can put you in touch with volunteers who are already performing these roles to learn more.

  1. Our Hospital Discharge wellbeing project – Wellbeing caller
  • The project has been running since April 2020 and hundreds of patients have already been referred to Healthwatch. Our Clinical Commissioning Group has commended us - and our volunteers - for this important work. The role involves calling adults recently discharged from hospital to check on their wellbeing, to check if they have any concerns related to their discharge, or if they need any community support such as food, shopping, social/befriending, digital support, etc. You will be signposting and/or referring people directly to other specialist services, and we will provide training on how to do this.
  • More information about this role is available here, and you can read about what we have achieved to date here
  1. COVID-19 Vaccine Helpline
  • We are currently helping the NHS to answer public queries about the COVID-19 vaccine programme. Our volunteers are speaking to people and providing advice and signposting them to other useful resources. Volunteers can join a daily catch up meeting where they will be brought up to date with any new developments, and an online chat facility is available to help you answer queries. The information obtained from these phone calls is helping service providers to understand what concerns or worries people have and to identify any issues or blockages in the system.
  • More information about this role is available here where you can read about what we have achieved to date.

Requirements for both roles:

  • Comfortable calling and speaking to a range of people.
  • A friendly, calm disposition, and willingness to listen.
  • Able to use email and Microsoft Word.
  • Able to access Microsoft Teams or Zoom.
  • Internet access for submitting call responses online.
  • A relevant background would be useful but not essential as we can offer training to support you.

More information about volunteering with us 


NHS COVID-19 recovery plan for patient 

This week, an estimated 4.7 million people were waiting for routine procedure and operations in England – the highest since 2007. Nearly 388,000 people were waiting more than a year for non-urgent surgery compared with just 1,600 before the pandemic began. The NHS is accelerating the delivery of operations and other non-urgent services as part of a £8.1 billion plan to help the health service recover all patient service.

Read more


Making it compulsory for care staff to have the COVID vaccine – your views

The government is seeking your views on a proposal to make COVID-19 vaccination a condition of deployment in older adult care homes.

This consultation is available here and closes at 11:45pm on 21 May 2021

Consultation description

Older adults living in care homes have been significantly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic because of their heightened risk to COVID-19 infection, often with devastating consequences, as well as the risk of outbreaks in these closed settings.

Ensuring very high levels of vaccination of people living and working in these settings is an essential public health intervention.

While vaccination uptake rates are increasing slowly week on week, there are still a high number of older adult care homes which do not have the level of protection needed to reduce the risk of outbreak.

To increase vaccine take up, the government is considering amending the Health and Social Care Act 2008 (Regulated Activities) Regulations 2014.

This would mean older adult care home providers could only use those staff who have received the COVID-19 vaccination (or those with a legitimate medical exemption) in line with government guidance.

Take the survey


National Lockdown - easing of restrictions

On 23rd February, the Prime Minister announced a phased opening up of society. 

- For a simple guide to the key dates please click here.

- For government posters click here.

- For more detail click here.  

From 12th April, restrictions lifted further and updated guidance with new rules and restrictions has been issued via National lockdown: Stay at Home

Brighton and Hove Council COVID-19 webapge


COVID-19 vaccine roll out

You can read the latest about the programme by clicking on the reports below.

Or visit the Healthwatch vaccine webpage



You can download the bulletin here. If you need it in a different formate please contact us at: 


Vaccine update 14.4.21
Vaccine update 16.4.21
Healthwatch bulletin 16.4.21

Share your thoughts

You can help make health and care services better by sharing your experiences and ideas.

Talk to us