Resolved: To report to members the response given at the Health and Wellbeing Board to recommendations made by the Healthier Communities Select Committee on 18 May 2016 regarding the report by Healthwatch.
3.1 The Chair introduced a referral from the Healthier Communities Select Committee. This concerned a Healthwatch report titled “The Polish Community and Access to Health and Well-Being Services”.
3.2 The Board noted the views of the Select Committee as set out in the report, with the following additional comments:
3.3 The Health and Wellbeing Board is unable to undertake independent research to explore the issues raised within the report, as it does not have a dedicated budget. However, Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group has already formally responded to Healthwatch on the report, as the main focus of issues raised within the report relate to Primary Care services. This response includes proposals to improve engagement and signposting of healthcare services within Polish Communities. This will be in addition to Tamil and Vietnamese communities where similar Healthwatch reports have been produced, though these communities are not covered within the scope of the Committee’s referral.
3.4 The Communication and Engagement Plan for Urgent and Emergency Care Model will include measures to engage harder-to-reach or seldom-heard communities, including the communities identified and reported on by Healthwatch. This will come to the Health and Wellbeing Board for review and comment later in the year.
3.5 A broader issue which needs to be considered concerns the education and provision of information within certain communities, particularly those unfamiliar with the role of GPs and how they fit into the wider healthcare system. This should help to reduce unnecessary presentation at A&E departments, where a visit to a GP would be more appropriate.