Volunteering with Healthwatch helps lawyer understand issues clients may face
Veronica Male is a Chartered Legal Executive at a Northamptonshire solicitors, specialising in Court of Protection work and has been a volunteer with Healthwatch Northamptonshire for almost 2 years.
As part of Volunteer’s Week Veronica spoke to us about her role and why she thinks volunteering helps her in her job as a Legal Executive.
“My firm is very supportive of my volunteering with Healthwatch. It is important for us to understand the issues facing our clients in the county, as this not only helps us provide a better service but enables us to raise concerns."
Veronica added: “Being part of the Healthwatch Planning Group, which covers adult health and social care issues as part of its work, enables me to be aware of issues around the county, how Healthwatch is engaging with agencies to look at improving services and understanding the difficulties facing those agencies particularly at such a difficult time within the county.”
As well as volunteering for Healthwatch Veronica attends the Pensioner’s Forum at Northampton Borough Council and is also a member of the Northamptonshire Dementia Action Forum.
Working full time and volunteering does have its challenges, says Veronica: “The challenge can be ensuring that I am able to effectively pass information between the various bodies I am involved with, so that they know what is happening in the county and how to work together and share information to provide a fuller picture.”
Veronica expressed the best parts about volunteering and reasons why she volunteers: “I really love hearing people’s experiences, the issues that they have raised as part of their role as a volunteer and how that information has been passed back to the organisation and informed a review of their procedure, sometimes leading to a change which benefits all users.” Veronica continued: “For example, I was really pleased when an issue I had raised from a client’s experience about not being appropriately supported by social care after discharge from hospital started a discussion around the table with people who knew of others with the same experience. This concern was then adopted as one of Healthwatch’s work priorities for the next year.”
All volunteers with Healthwatch Northamptonshire go through a full training and induction programme. They are given a comprehensive volunteer handbook and out of pocket expenses are also reimbursed.
To find out more about volunteering with Healthwatch Northamptonshire call 0300 002 0010 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit http://www.healthwatchnorthamptonshire.co.uk/volunteer
If you are unable to volunteer, you can still make a difference by sharing your experiences of health and social care services with us. No matter how big or small, we want to hear about it. Visit http://www.healthwatchnorthamptonshire.co.uk/contact-us or call 0300 002 0010.