Agree a new understanding between the public sector and the people of Essex
The public sector needs to be up-front and honest with us – clarifying the extent of the ‘care offer’ available to us. We will need to take ultimate responsibility for our own care becoming key members of the care team – based on the premise that individual care is owned by the people of Essex. The public sector will need to provide core quality services to us, be able to answer questions and to help and encourage us to take on this responsibility whilst guiding us to, and facilitate the provision of, additional sources of support if we need them. You told us that you want to increase your ability to live independently for longer.
To support this recommendation, we call for:
- An easy to navigate Citizen’s Guide to Care in Essex showing how each aspect of care can be accessed and what the core offering to the citizen comprises. This will be supported by a communication strategy, which will support the desire to create a new contract with the citizen – the “SatNav” of care in Essex.
- A new publication, both in hard copy and online, championed by Healthwatch Essex, the body which represents our interests in health and social care. This will give all of us the opportunity to share knowledge about what is best and worst in care services in Essex – the “TripAdvisor” of care in Essex.
- The introduction of coaching, training and helplines to allow us to take control of our own health and that of families. GPs and others will be given the tools to help to support us beyond our physical needs – the “driving lessons” of care in Essex.
- A new approach in Essex to the support, acknowledgement, celebration, recognition and reward for informal and unpaid carers and patients who self-manage.
- A revolution for the voluntary sector where it reviews, revises and regroups leading to an exciting new offering, supporting us to take ownership of our own care.
- Essex should welcome new players and embrace and incentivise greater participation by corporate employers and providers so as to improve accessible, helpful, and customer-focused care services.