Access to Healthcare Task Group

The Access to Healthcare Task Group was set up to ensure that patients and carers living in Northumberland, have a voice and can influence access to health and social care service, workingin partnership with providers and commissioners of hospital services to bring about improvements for the benefit of all service users.
The group’s remit was to:
  • Investigate the experience of people in Northumberland’s access to health services.
  • Seek the views of patients and carers, follow up issues raised by them and share this information with providers, commissioners and users.
  • Work with providers and commissioners through the Health and Social Care Liaison Group, on the findings of the task group and link in to work undertaken by Healthwatch England around this issue.
  • Review accessibility to health services including issues such as: GP appointments, ambulance services, patient transport services, specialist services, A&E and access for people with disabilities
  • To work in a transparent, inclusive and timely manner, considering equality and diversity issues in relation to the matters under consideration and any impact current services or future  recommendations may have on equalities groups.
The task group was led by a member of the Healthwatch Northumberland board and membership was open to Healthwatch Northumberland board members and supporters with an interest in issues around access to health services. The group met every two months or more frequently as required.