We ensure that local services listen to the people that use them, and make improvements based on their needs. By working with the health and social care system, we discover where services are working well, where they can be improved and hold them to account for making changes that really matter to patients.

We also communicate with sector regulators and Healthwatch England, to address concerns about specific care providers and identify trends.

We investigate issues people tell us and make recommendations for improvements in our investigations.

Our impact

How patient feedback has improved hospital waiting rooms

Our investigation into people’s experiences in hospital waiting rooms led to:

  • Shorter waiting times
  • Better support for people with disabilities
  • Cleaner environments
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Improving support for hospital patients who have problems with care

Our investigation into hospital PALS (Patient Advice and Liaison Services) led to:

  • More efficient escalation of enquiries
  • Improved staff training in mental health
  • Better information for service users
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Improving mental health services for Birmingham service users

Our investigation into community mental health services led to:

  • Improved systems for ordering and delivering medication
  • More flexible drop in times for patients
  • Better communication about what to do out of hours or when calling in crisis
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Fighting health inequalities

Our investigation into health inequalities in the Somali community led to:

  • Cancer awareness videos co-produced with the Somali community
  • Improved health information for different communities
  • ESOL classes for women seeking healthcare
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Improved services for people with sight loss

Our investigation into visual impairment rehabilitation services led to:

  • More Visual Impairment Rehabilitation Officers
  • Regular wellbeing checks during the Covid-19 pandemic
  • Improved website and information resources
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Better mental health support for children and young people

Our investigation into mental health services for children and young people led to:

  • Improved communication with patients and families
  • A new Peer Support Worker scheme
  • Enhanced staff training on working with patients with complex issues
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Healthwatch Birmingham plays an essential role in the city’s health and social care sector. They provide a safe and impartial space for the public to provide feedback and share their experiences. They give Birmingham citizens the confidence that their views will be heard and considered by those who commission, design and deliver services.

Paulette Hamilton, MP for Birmingham Erdington

Other ways we improve health and social care:

Our responses to consultations and NHS quality accounts emphasise the importance of health and social care providers listening to patients in order to develop better services and reduce health inequalities.

Healthwatch Birmingham reports are high quality and offer well researched actions that we can use to improve our services. We are really keen to improve our services for the diverse populations of Birmingham and Healthwatch enables us to access the communities and learn from the experience of people in a wide variety of situations.

Mark Hillier, Senior Patient Experience Manager, Birmingham Women’s and Children’s NHS Foundation Trust