Healthwatch Bedford Borough

What our service does

Healthwatch is the consumer champion, for both health and social care services for children and adults living in England. At a local level Healthwatch Bedford Borough (HBB) will:-

• Enable all people of all ages to share their views and concerns about local health and social care services such as GPs, dentists, pharmacists hospitals, day care services and care homes.
• Help and support Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group to make sure that services really are designed to meet the local communities needs.
• Provide authoritative, evidence-based feedback to organisations responsible for commissioning or delivering local health and social care services.
• Be inclusive - we know that people can feel excluded from services and we know that access to services is not always equal. Healthwatch will reflect the diversity of the community it serves.

Location of our service

Based at the address shown above. The office is located in the 'Centre for Supported Living' managed by Bedford Borough Council. HBB`s service covers the geographical area of Bedford Borough Council.

HBB also operates an information helpline for advice about health and social care services this is based at Bedford Hospital and is accessed by telephoning 01234 866477.

Who our service provides for

Healthwatch Bedford Borough (HBB) is a Community Interest Company and everyone living in Bedford Borough is a stakeholder in its work. As such there are no eligibility criteria to access our services. In essence HBB exists to serve the whole of the local community.

Essentially our role is to seek the continued improvement in the delivery of health and social care services for the whole population of Bedford Borough.

How to start using our service

Referrals are not necessary-there is no charge for our service.

How decisions are made about who can use our service

As indicated earlier Healthwatch Bedford Borough seeks to provide authoritative, evidence-based feedback to organisations responsible for commissioning or delivering local health and social care services. This means that we need to gather information that can be substantiated in order to convince commissioners/service providers of the validity of information supplied.

How we communicate with our service users

Contact is usually by service users indicating a need - HBB operates on the basis of a 'Network of Networks' (copy diagram attached) and has wide communication links with community and voluntary organisations - enabling feedback of issues which cannot be resolved by the organisation concerned. HBB key advantage is that it has a statutory seat on the Bedford Borough Council`s Health and Wellbeing Board. This enables HBB to raise issues of major concern at the highest level within the Borough.

The HBB website (at the click of a button) translates into over 70 different languages. HBB also has access, via its volunteers further access to translation services if required.

HBB also employs a Modern Apprentice to help with its work with children and younger people.

Accessibility of our service

The location is near to the Town Centre. There is a public car park (Lurke Street) opposite the office.
At ground floor level the building is fully accessible and has disabled changing/toilet facilities - these are provided for the young people/adults who attend the Centre for Supported Living.

It is more likely that HBB will visit children/young people at their home location to meet with them.

Qualifications and training of our staff

HBB is essentially managed by volunteers who do have a real awareness and understanding of disabilities and are also trained in safeguarding processes. HBB is a member of the Bedford Borough and Central Bedfordshire Adult Safeguarding Board.

General Contact Information

HBB would not generally be the first point of contact for these matters - it is likely that referrals will come from more specific child/young person centred organisations. However the HBB primary contact details are those shown below.

Contact for more information

Laurie Hurn
21-23 Gadsby Street, Bedford, MK40 3HP
01234 718018
Opening Hours:
Monday to Friday 8.30am -3.30pm