Healthwatch outreach volunteer

What is the purpose of the role?

To visit community groups to promote Healthwatch and encourage a wide variety of people to feed in their views about the health and social care services they use.

To encourage people to attend focus groups, complete feedback forms and surveys.

To tell Healthwatch what the public has told you, so Healthwatch can take action to improve health and care quality locally.

About Healthwatch

Healthwatch aims to give individuals and communities a stronger voice to influence and challenge how health and social care services are provided locally. We find out what people think about their local GP surgeries, hospitals, minor injury units and care homes and then work together with the staff who run these. Healthwatch is all about improving local health care, based on what people tell us they want and need in their community.

What will I be doing?

Community Outreach Volunteers are asked to:

  • Find and contact new events, groups and meetings to spread the word about Healthwatch
  • Ask people at these groups about their views and experiences of using local health and social care services
  • Impartially record and report the views of these groups back to Healthwatch staff
  • Promote Healthwatch and its role within the local community
  • Encourage people to fill in feedback leaflets, attend focus groups and complete surveys (as required) so we can gather their opinions about local health care
  • Attend Healthwatch volunteer training and group support sessions as appropriate.

Personal qualities needed for the role

  • Good listening, spoken communication and presentation skills, and the ability to speak in group situations or in front of an audience
  • Ability to proactively contact individuals and groups who might benefit from knowing about Healthwatch and telling us their experiences
  • Empathy and respect for others
  • Committed to helping people have a voice
  • Understanding of your local community
  • Ability to make decisions independently and ask for support if necessary.

Why volunteer with The Care Forum and Healthwatch?

  • gain skills, experience and references for future career development
  • meet new people
  • use your knowledge and experience to make a difference for local people
  • help local people and give something back
  • learn new things via on-going training and development opportunities
  • gain a sense of purpose and feel you are doing something worthwhile
  • improve your self-esteem and feel good about yourself.

How much time and when?

The days and amount of time you give is flexible, but usually around eight hours a month. You can discuss and agree these with your volunteer support officer.