Healthwatch Brent is one of 152 local Healthwatch organisations established throughout England on 1 April 2013 under the provisions of the Health and Social Care Act 2012. It has a dual role to champion the rights of health and social care users and to hold the system to account for how well it engages with the public.
Healthwatch’s remit covers all publicly funded health and social care services for adults and children.
The Advocacy Project has been awarded the contract to be Healthwatch Brent’s provider from 1 April 2021. We will build on the important work that’s been done to date, while bringing new insights from the voices of seldom heard and hard to hear groups. You’ll have an opportunity to develop the service in line with our ambitious vision, making sure all views in Brent, including the most marginalised, are at the heart of health and care and shape the services they need.
About the role
You will work alongside another Volunteer & Projects Officer to deliver a programme of outreach and engagement activities in order to gather views and experiences of local residents who use NHS and social care. You’ll have a thorough understanding of the ways local voices can be used to shape and improve services.
A key aspect of this role is to promote Healthwatch Brent by explaining its remit and encouraging people to get involved and have their say. You will be a skilled communicator, comfortable networking and engaging with a diverse range of local residents and members of the public. We’re looking for someone who can understand and relate to the diverse population in Brent.
You’ll be jointly responsible for recruiting and supporting a team of volunteers to carry out projects that develop an evidence base of how local services should be improved. As part of this work, you’ll strengthen our links with volunteer networks in the borough. You may have personal experience of volunteering and you’ll bring an understanding of the contribution volunteers make and the techniques you need to use to keep them engaged.
Working as part of a small team, you’ll be involved in many aspects of the organisation. You’ll need to be flexible, with a ‘can do’ attitude to meet the constantly evolving needs of the service as it develops in the new phase of its journey under the leadership of The Advocacy Project.
- Develop and deliver an extensive programme of effective community engagement and outreach activities, tailored to meet the individual communication needs of a wide range of target audiences.
- Promote and support participation in Healthwatch activities, like surveys, meetings and focus groups.
- Accurately record community experiences of health and social care, project activity and feedback on the database.
- Carry out analysis of patients’ experience to identify trends and inform project activity.
- Recruit, train and support volunteers to do ‘enter and view’ project work and outreach work; convene and support project groups to coordinate this.
- Develop contacts with volunteer networks and local voluntary and community sector organisations across Brent, encouraging participation from under-represented and disadvantaged groups.
- Train and support apprentices to undertake outreach and project activities with their community groups, specifically hard-to-reach communities.
- Work in partnership with key stakeholders from the grassroots steering group to support engagement in projects, including coproduction and joint communications.
- Update project plans and report on project progress.
- Contribute to materials produced by Healthwatch, including webpages, e-bulletins, newsletters, social media content, reports and presentations.
- Help develop and deliver public engagement events; give admin support to the organisation’s board and committees when needed (this may include arranging meetings, sending out papers and minute-taking).
- Keep up to date with best practice from Healthwatch England, by reading, attending courses and networking.
- Answer and respond appropriately to calls about the service, collaborating with the team to give signposting support by phone and email.
- Carry out any other tasks needed to make sure the service runs smoothly, as directed by the Healthwatch Manager.
- Participate in team meetings and training; manage your volunteers to attend.
- Participate in personal, team and organisational development.
- Keep to all policies, including health & safety, and risk regulations.
- Promote equality and diversity in all aspects of work and challenge discrimination.
- Work to The Advocacy Project’s mission, vision, and values and also those of Healthwatch Brent.
- Good understanding of the role of service user/citizen involvement in health and social care.
- Experience of promoting user empowerment and user choice.
- Experience of community engagement and the ability to engage with a wide cross-section of the community from presenting to patients or professionals, facilitating group discussions, networking at events and running exhibition stands.
- Excellent communication skills (written and verbal) and the ability to tailor engagement to meet the needs of the audience using face to face, print and digital methods.
- Excellent interpersonal skills and ability to work effectively with a wide variety of stakeholders ranging from local residents, colleagues, partners, trustees and commissioners.
- Experience of gathering information through interviews, questionnaires and observation, analysing information and producing well evidenced reports.
- Experience of project management; ability to manage multiple projects effectively and meet deadlines.
- Experience of recruiting, training and managing volunteers.
- Understanding of the NHS and /or social care.
- Experience of working with diverse communities, particularly in Brent, and tackling discrimination and inequality.
- Good understanding of health inequalities and the role Healthwatch can play in helping local people to address these.
- Excellent organisational skills, ability to take initiative and plan your own workload.
- Commitment to working within The Advocacy Project and Healthwatch Brent code of conduct, equality and safeguarding policies.
- Willingness to attend further training as appropriate and to adopt new procedures.
- Willingness to promote Healthwatch Brent and The Advocacy Project in line with our mission, vision and values.
- Understanding of the public health challenges in Brent.
- Evidence of ongoing personal development and training related to the role.
- Previous experience of working within a Healthwatch service.
Benefits of working for us
We’re committed to providing an empowering, flexible and supportive working environment for all our staff.
Our employee benefits include 30 days annual leave (including up to 3 days between Christmas and New Year), participation in a pension scheme with 6% employer contribution, access to a free confidential counselling service, and an interest-free travel/bike loan.
All our staff are supported to learn and develop in a variety of ways, including a monthly lecture series where we invite sector experts to talk to our staff on topical issues.
We are a Disability Confident Committed and Mindful Employer.
The client requests no contact from agencies or media sales.