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Your spotlight on local services

Rosie - My First Week at Healthwatch Hampshire

Hi! My name is Roisin (Rosie) Bird and this is a document of my first week at Healthwatch Hampshire.

I thought I would start with my career history so far:

In 2012 I became a Public Relations student at the University of Westminster, and three years later I was very happy to graduate! I was incredibly lucky to go straight into a job in a luxury manufacturing company working in their Communications Office. After a year in comms I moved over to the Marketing department where I spent a further year. After relocating and having to leave the luxury market, I found myself thinking that this was an opporunity to change industry. I then found myself working as a Communication & Engagement Lead for a Medical Practice, and shortly after that I moved over to Healthwatch Hampshire to be their Communication & Engagement Officer. 

During my time at university I did a lot of voluntary work and work experience within charities. As well as this I lived in Zambia for three months as a Volunteer Peer Educator (VPE), educating the community I lived in on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR) and Livelihoods and Civic participation. It was fantastic working in the luxury industry but I am so glad that I am back working with health and wellbeing.


I started my first week at Healthwatch Hampshire on Tuesday 17 October 2017 by heading into the centre of Winchester, which is where the Healthwatch Hampshire offices are situated - fantastic location!

Tuesday 17 – I arrived at the offices at 9:30, when Steve (Manager of Healthwatch Hamshire) met me and showed me around the building. We share the building with Action Hampshire and Age UK. I then got shown my agenda for the first week and was able to ask any questions that I might have.

It was then time for the team meeting where I met the rest of the team. We're a close-knit team of only 5, however we work closely with some other people like members of Hampshire Citizen's Advice Bureau. Sometimes these people join in with these meetings which is a great opportunity for both them and us to get up to speed with information.

After the team meeting I had my HR induction where I was told all about Healthwatch Hampshire and Help & Care. Help & Care are a key part of Healthwatch Hampshire as they work collaboratively with a range of partners, including Citizen’s Advice. This helps to ensure that the public voice is heard and that good quality information is available to support people’s needs.

I was then shown my desk and all my equipment. It’s important that we are all able to work remotely as we all travel around the county regularly, so we all have mobile phones and laptops to make this as easy as possible.


Wednesday 18 - On Wednesday I shadowed Steve at a meeting regarding the transformation of health care. The meeting was held in Omega House in Eastleigh, the building is the home of the West Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG).

Once we were back in the office I met with David Loveridge, one of our three Project Officers, and he talked me through Enter and View. Each local Healthwatch has been granted a statutory power that allows authorised representatives to observe how services are being delivered. This enables Healthwatch to collect the views of patients/residents, carers and relatives of service users to ensure services are being delivered effectively.


Thursday 19 - On Thursday I joined David and one of our volunteers on an Enter & View visit to Pax Hill Nursing Home. Here we checked to see how Dementia friendly it was and to act as an extra pair of eyes.

This was a fantastic experience, especially considering that I had never entered a care home before.

Pax Hill functions on three floors, with the middle floor being the dementia unit. I won’t go into too much detail as the report will be published soon enough!


Friday 20 - I started Friday morning joining a meeting with Fi Biggs, another one of our Project Officers, and Nick who is an Equality & Diversity Manager at the CCG. They were discussing a project that they have been working on for the past few months. The project is focusing around the way D/deaf people and their interpreters are treated in Primary Care. We looked through a couple of surveys that they have created to gather people's opinions and experiences around the matter. It was so interesting to sit in on this meeting and start understanding some of the complexities that the D/deaf community have to battle on a daily basis.


My first week at Healthwatch Hampshire was so exciting and eye opening. I have already learnt so much and am so excited to see what the future holds for me here!

If you have any questions for Rosie, or would like to get in touch, you can find us on Twitter or Facebook