Agenda item

Delivering the Hastings Listening Tour

·         Report by Executive Director Healthwatch East Sussex


28.1     The Board considered a report on Healthwatch East Sussex’s Hastings Listening Tour.

28.2     The following additional information was provided in response to questions from Members:

  • The independent evaluation of the Listening Tour recognised that no other Healthwatch organisation had done a piece of work as in-depth as this before.
  • The CCGs welcome the report as it provides a richness of information that will build on the JSNAA health profile of Hastings.
  • Healthwatch East Sussex is determined to carry out another Listening Tour in East Sussex, possibly in the Havens area, Eastbourne, or rural areas (on a smaller scale). The location will be determined by JSNAA health profiles; and feedback from the public, partner organisations, and Healthwatch volunteers.
  • The evaluation has also identified areas for improvement, such as increasing the number of volunteers who are willing to go out in the middle of the night to speak with the street community. Healthwatch is now engaging with partner organisations who may already have such volunteers to work with them.
  • The number of rough sleepers in Hastings are quite high – with 43 known to be rough sleeping in the town. The Seaview Project, (a specialist rough sleeping organisation), however, has expressed concern that the street community, i.e., street drinkers and beggars, are being conflated with rough sleepers, when in fact the latter are much less likely to contribute to crime levels.
  • Being a rough sleeper has the greatest impact on physical and mental health, meaning that they may be a small cohort but are very vulnerable and cost considerable resources.
  • Ex-service personnel in reality comprise a very small number of rough sleepers. Those who are ex-servicemen often have very complex needs and are effected by war trauma. The Armed Forces Network in East Sussex – hosted by Hastings and Rother CCG – has a silver award for its provision of access to health and social care for armed forces veterans.
  • Homelessness is not just about rough sleeping; a number of people in Hastings are living in insecure or temporary accommodation, sometimes long-term, and often with their children.
  • Hastings Borough Council and HR CCG have a number of new initiatives to tackle rough sleeping and people in temporary accommodation, but the numbers of both continue to rise.
  • The analysis to 133 online responses to maternity services gathered as part of the Hastings Listening Tour will follow the methodology of the previous report of enter and view inspections of East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust (ESHT), i.e., analysing the responses through a working group comprising representatives of Healthwatch, ESHT and women who have used the service.
  • The public are becoming more aware that changes are being made to health and social care at a sub-regional level – via the Sussex and East Surrey Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) – and that Healthwatch East Sussex will begin to build in awareness raising of the STP into its consultation and engagement work with the public.
  • The new leadership of the STP is likely to move forward the development of the STP, which has for a while been relatively quiet. Local place-based plans – ESBT and Connecting 4 You – have been established as the appropriate level at which to engage with the public about any changes brought about by the STP, along with local partnership organisations.

28.3     The Board RESOLVED to note the report and thank Healthwatch East Sussex for producing it.



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