Give your views

SANE Mental Health charity

Insights into schizophrenia 

As part of their ongoing efforts to support people living with schizophrenia and those who have experienced an episode of psychosis, as well as their families and carers, Otsuka and Lundbeck, in partnership with SANE and a panel of care experts, will be developing a programme designed to support people in all areas of daily living.

This survey is for people with schizophrenia and the people who care for them, to help us understand more about the support and services they currently receive and would like to receive in the future. All responses will be anonymous. You have the right to withdraw from the survey at any time. This survey has been funded by Otsuka Pharmaceuticals (UK) Ltd. and Lundbeck (UK) Ltd. If you would like to ask any questions about the content of the survey, or receive a paper copy, please do not hesitate to email Margaret Edwards at

For carers and family members or individuals with schizophrenia; a survey:


Re-design of The Buzz Network – Short Breaks Service.

Huge thank you to all the parents and carers that completed The Southampton Parent Carer Forum survey, shared input and views and whom have given feedback to enable The Southampton Parent Carer Forum to make sure they are sending a clear message about what we feel a “Short Break” looks like.
They are now working with the Local Authority on proposals and planning for what the service will look like going forward and they are looking forward to meeting with parents and carers in the next few months to present joint ideas. This will be an opportunity for you to have your say and give feedback.
Don’t forget, you can still share your input and views in relation to this – please email or private message Claire Pritchard, Forum Coordinator on the forum Facebook page –

Share your views on pharmacy services in Southampton

Southampton City Council have launched an online consultation to gather your views on pharmacy services in the city.

They want to find out more about how you use your pharmacy in order to better understand local needs and identify any potential gaps in delivery of services.

Your views will be used to inform the ‘Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment’ which is being prepared over the coming months for Portsmouth and Southampton. The final assessment will be published in April 2018.

The survey is here:

Carer’s Allowance and National Living Wage Feedback 

Carer’s Allowance is the main benefit for carers. You can still get it even if you are working, so long as your earnings are no more than a weekly amount known as ‘the earnings limit’. From April 2017 the earnings limit will be going up to £116 per week.

While this should be good news for carers in low paid work, many of those on the National Living Wage (NLW) will not benefit. This is because the NLW is also increasing from £7.20 to £7.50 per hour. So, if you work 16 hours on the NLW your earnings will be £120 – preventing you from getting Carer’s Allowance.

Contact a Family believes the earnings limit should be at least £120 to reflect the increase in the NLW. This would prevent some carers from having to choose between losing their Carer’s Allowance or losing their working tax credit.

Una Summerson, Head of Policy and Campaigns at Contact a Family, says:

“Thousands of families signed our open letter last year calling on the government to increase the Carer’s Allowance earnings threshold in line with the National Living Wage. They will be disappointed that the government have failed to act.

“While it’s good news that the threshold for Carer’s Allowance is increasing, it will be meaningless for many of the families we support because of the corresponding increase in the National Living Wage.”

Contact a Family has repeatedly written to the Treasury and the Department for Work & Pensions about how this policy acts as a disincentive to work, but to date they have failed to act.  They will continue to campaign on this issue, so please get in touch if you have been affected by emailing


Action on Hearing Loss survey on accessibility

Feedback on how well GPs and other NHS services communicate with deaf people since NHS England’s Accessible Information Standard to enable AHL help to make sure this is happening where you live and to include in its submission of evidence to NHS England’s planned review of the Standard early next year.

The charity’s Access All Areas research report found that most people with hearing loss surveyed were forced to struggle on the phone to book appointments, one in seven missed appointments when they hadn’t heard their name called, and one quarter didn’t understand their diagnosis after seeing a GP.


Telephone 0808 808 0123, textphone 0808 808 9000 or send a text message to 0780 000 0360

Hospital discharge after a mental health crisis survey

Share your experiences about being discharged from mental hospital to support Mind’s campaigning work in making sure people get the right support following a mental health crisis.  Your experience is relevant whether you were in hospital under section or as a voluntarty patient and whether you had a positive or a negative experience.

If you have several experiences of being in hospital, please share your MOST RECENT experience, focusing on inpatient stays, not treatment in A&E.

The survey is here:

Research into technologies to promote safer walking

The Alzheimers Society and Southampton University are collaborating in a research project to find out about the use of tracking technology to facilitate safer walking.  This research takes a participative approach meaning that people with dementia and family members are involved at all levels of this research, along with professional and industry advisors. Everyone experiences getting lost. Getting lost is a distressing experience, and very rarely, for some people can have fatal consequences. The aim of the project is to produce guidance for people with dementia and their families to use to decide what would help them with safer walking. Guidance will also be produced for practitioners, commissioners and the police.

If you would like to participate in this project, please contact the team.

More details may be found by going to the webpage here:

Child’s speech, language and communication support survey

ICAN invite people to take part by completing a short online survey about their current experiences of support for their child’s difficulty with speech, language and communication. Click here to go to the survey.
Background to the survey
In 2008 John Bercow was asked to lead a review into provision for children and young people with SLCN. At that time, the review showed services to be highly variable and in many instances inadequate. The 40 recommendations in the final report aimed to transform provision for and the experiences of children and young people and their families, all of which were accepted by the Government. The energy this generated around the issue of children’s communication resulted in a National Year of Communication and some innovative changes to the way support was planned and commissioned. However, nearly ten years on the momentum has been lost. There has been a widespread overhaul of the systems in which services operate and this, together with constrained finances, means that meeting the needs of children with SLCN remains an issue.
In the UK, 1.4 million children have a long term, persistent SLCN, and language disorder is seven times more prevalent than conditions such as autism. Ten years ago, one of the themes of John Bercow’s report was the importance of early identification. Now, nearly 10 years later Bercow: Ten Years On has found that more than half of children with language difficulties are not being identified by primary schools, meaning they miss out on the crucial support they need. The information ICAN gather from this phase of the Bercow: Ten Years On review will be fundamental in helping to make change happen.
The launch of the evidence gathering signals the first phase of this crucial project.  So to make it happen as many people as possible must share their experiences of the reality of support and information for children, young people with SLCN and their families. Only through having this information can ICAN understand what might need to change at both a local and national level to get children the help they need.
ICAN invite people to take part by completing a short online survey about their current experiences of support for their child’s difficulty with speech, language and communication. Click here to go to the survey.

See the website for more details here:


Southampton Healthwatch Feedback Centre

Southampton Healthwatch’s newly launched Feedback Centre is designed to allow the public to share their stories about the health and social care services they have been receiving and read about similar experiences of other local residents. This includes GP services, pharmacists, hospitals, care homes, dentists and opticians.

Please visit the Healthwatch Southampton website and leave feedback about your experiences of health and social care providers in Southampton.

How the Feedback Centre works

  1. Patients leave their comments, views and concerns by accessing the Healthwatch Southampton website and using our Feedback Centre.
  2. We moderate all feedback before publication. As part of that process we remove inappropriate content including patient and/or staff names.
  3. If appropriate we may signpost patients to other relevant organisations.
  4. Health and social care service providers are made aware of their feedback and are invited to respond and/or take action if appropriate.
  5. Where appropriate we may investigate further, based on the feedback shared, working with other groups and organisations to improve services locally.

The public can review as many services as they like. Patients may leave a review anonymously although they are required to leave contact details so that we may contact them when appropriate.The feedback they receive can be used to build a better picture of how health and social care services work within Southampton – what areas are doing well and what areas need improving. They are then able to work with local care providers to advocate for real changes that will improve services locally.

Chairperson of Healthwatch Southampton, Harry Dymond MBE, commented, “The Healthwatch Feedback Centre gives local residents the opportunity to speak about their experiences of local health and care services. We can then discuss this with the service provider. We are keen to celebrate where services are excellent in the city, whilst also helping services to improve when things haven’t gone so well”.

Rob Kurn, Healthwatch Southampton Manager, added, “We are really excited to be giving people a voice through the Feedback Centre. By using digital means we will be able to reach far more people within the city, and help to bring about positive change for local services”. 

For more information about the Feedback Centre or for more information about Healthwatch Southampton, please contact:

Call: 02380 216018

Disability Rights UK forms ‘Tell Us About Your Care’ partnership with the Care Quality Commission

Chris Day, Director of Engagement at the Care Quality Commission, said:

“People’s experiences of care are absolutely vital to CQC’s work. They help us to identify where care may be falling below the standards we all have a right to expect, and where outstanding care is being provided.

Disability Rights UK  are working with the Care Quality Commission (CQC) as part of a new ‘Tell Us About Your Care’ partnership together with a number of national charities, including Mind, The National Autistic Society, Patients Association and the Relatives & Residents Association.

Disability Rights UK will be gathering feedback from disabled people who contact them about their experiences of using health and social care services.

Deputy CEO Sue Bott says:

“Disability Rights UK are delighted to be working with CQC as part of the tell Us About Your Care Partnership.  We are pleased that through this initiative disabled people and people with long term health conditions will have the opportunity to tell the regulator about their experiences of the health and social care services they use, not only specialist services but services like GP surgeries that are used by everyone.”

The CQC website can be accessed here, and  you can also provide direct feedback to the CQC on your experience of using any of the services they regulate.

Tell CQC about your care.  

CQC  (CareQuality Commission) are the independent regulators of health and adult social care in England.

CQC make sure health and social care services provide people with safe, effective, compassionate, high-quality care and we encourage care services to improve.

They monitor, inspect and regulate services, including doctors, hospitals and care homes, to make sure they meet fundamental standards of quality and safety and they publish what they find, including performance ratings to help people choose care.

Your information helps CQC decide when, where and what to inspect.  Share your experience with CQC Poor care? Good care? Tell them now…

If you use health or social care services, you can share your experience with them online.  Alternatively, you can email them at or call them on 03000 616161.

Hospitals They inspect both NHS trusts and independent hospitals.

GPs and doctors  They inspect GP practices, walk-in centres and out-of-hours services.

Care homes They inspect care homes across England, including residential and nursing homes.

Other services they regulate include dentists, ambulances and mental health services. Browse the full list.

Southampton City Council People’s Panel Poll

Southampton City Council invite you to join the many who signed up in 2016 and sign yourself up in 2017 to help them shape the city’s key decisions.  This will help the council gain a richer understanding of what residents think is good and can be promoted and what needs improvement or attention.

Go here to find out more:


Sign up now

Becoming part of the People’s Panel is an easy way to get involved in giving your opinions to inform decisions about local services and issues.  It will enable you to influence how services are delivered, highlight issues you feel need to be reviewed, and help you shape public services for your community.

The People’s Panel is a joint project with Southampton City Clinical Commissioning Group and together they have been working with the University of Southampton who have provided support with some of the social science and technological aspects of the project.

They are looking for Southampton residents aged 18 years and over to join.  No special experience or expertise is needed.  They want a diverse panel which reflects the people of Southampton with people from all walks of life represented; the only requirement is your interest in contributing your views.  If you are interested in becoming a member please fill in the survey.

To see what people said in 2016, go to:


‘Psychological’ Assistance Dogs (PADs), are not available in the UK. Lise hopes to make this change by providing assistance to people with Mental Health Conditions in the training of their ‘Guides for the Mind’ Assistance Dogs.  If you live in Southampton, are being supported by Mental Health Services and own a dog you may be suitable to join Capable Creatures’ Guides for the Mind Training Pilot to train your dog to be your Guide for the Mind Dog, to give you emotional support and help your mental well-being, leading to greater freedom, independence and confidence.

For more details and learn how to apply click here