You Said, We Did

At the March 2015 Health Partner’s Forum, you had a range of questions and suggestions for us and the local NHS as a whole.

We took down these comments and questions and have answered them or added to what you said below.

Your questions and comments will be updated regularly following future forum events.

We also have an engagement email address if you can't attend any of the meetings or if you want to stay in touch

Where possible, we will update these pages with questions and suggestions sent to this address too.


We need a booklet or information on how to choose well which should be sent out from GPs, direct to patients. That way there is a chance it will be opened and read.

We are ordering extra “Choose Well” booklets which were distributed to every home in the borough before Christmas.

This smaller distribution will be sent to GP surgeries and we will ask GPs and their staff to encourage patients to read the booklet.


Many people do not read (or throw leaflets in the bin). Make a YouTube video, explaining the different facilities.

We are in the process of updating the content of our website. Once this is completed, we will be making more use of video on our website where possible.

We are also keen to improve our library of photos so we have a series of strong images to support the messages we are sending to patients.


Develop website (or an app) so people can use it to work out where to go (A&E, UCC or WIC?) – a self-triage system (with all relevant contact information/maps)

We are currently looking to develop an app that has a symptom checker for common illnesses and complaints so people can get care from the most appropriate place.

The app also has a map function to help direct you to the right place.


Empower the community to help themselves – more health education so people can deal with minor problems themselves at home.

The app mentioned above should help people to look after themselves.

We have also held self-care events as part of our engagement work and will continue to do so in future.


Put more wheelchairs into A&E to make it easier for people with disabilities

Making sure people can access services and move around in the buildings where they are provided is an essential duty for the NHS.

The new £21m, state-of-the-art A&E department and the urgent care centre at Northwick Park Hospital are significantly easier for people with disabilities to use.

London North West Healthcare which runs Northwick Park Hospital tells us it ensures there are enough wheelchairs in A&E by keeping them in one place where they can be looked after by the porters. Wheelchairs are available at all times on request and the number of wheelchairs is monitored and replaced when necessary.


We should explore the potential for developing capacity amongst community & church leaders who may be more credible and effective at delivering messages within certain BME groups.

We have changed the way we engage with local people following an independent review.

One of the changes will mean we are going to recruit and train more members of the public to sit on our important committees as lay representatives.

If you are interested in finding out more about how you can get involved in this please contact Tessa Awe at Brent CVS ( who is leading this work for us.


A simple well-mapped process from initial contact and diagnosis to treatment and continued support should be standardised for all dementia patients, but with services and treatment tailored to accommodate the patient’s specific circumstances.

As part of our commissioning intentions for 2016-17, we will be developing a simple well-mapped process (we are calling it a pathway) that is clear to practitioners and service users.

Primary care dementia nurses play a crucial role in the dementia pathway as they offer support from the point of diagnosis and act as a key link for patients with dementia services.

We will also be reviewing the role of the dementia nurses to make them more effective. 


Patient communication requires thought and sensitivity (to language and background). It doesn’t work to just give out leaflets explaining the available options.

We fully agree that leaflets are not the only way we should communicate with patients. This is why we are actively looking at using new digital technologies to communicate with patients.

We also use translation services to make sure our messages are clear for people who can not speak English.

At the same time, by changing the way we engage with local people we hope to be more sensitive to people’s backgrounds and needs.

We are developing an insight and outreach function that aims to get views and information from the widest possible range of local people so we can make sure we are communicating with residents effectively and using their views to improve services.

We are also recruiting patient representatives to take part in all our relevant decision-making committees. We hope this will mean we make decisions that are made together with patients as far as possible.


Both lay members and Brent Carers should attend the Dementia Steering Group and be involved in the co-production of a Brent Dementia Strategy.

We have reviewed the Dementia Steering Group so we now have lay members and Brent Carers on the group who actively participate in the meetings. 

We will set up a working group to develop the Brent dementia strategy which will include a wide range of stakeholders in Brent including people with dementia and voluntary sector providers such as Brent Carers.

The working group will report to the Dementia Steering group. This way, we should have people with dementia and their carers involved not only in setting the direction but also co-producing our strategy.


All Health Partners Forum participants should be aware of the ‘Join Dementia Research’ initiative and, if possible, get registered and take part

Here is the link –


It is important to consider the needs of carers in the new Sickle Cell Service

As part of the new enhanced Sickle Cell service, we will be looking for patients and carers to participate in the new Sickle Cell Service Steering Group meetings.

The aim of the group is to review what has gone well and improve the quality of services made available to patients.


Each locality in Brent should have a GP with special interest in Sickle Cell, and this should be widely promoted

The new Sickle Cell service team are working closely with Brent's localities (the groups of GPs covering different parts of the borough) promoting the new service and publishing leaflets, referrals forms and appointment records to distribute to practices.

The team will also work closely with specific practices that have a high number of sickle cell patients – this work will particularly focus on the south of the Borough, where the prevalence of sickle cell tends to be higher.


We’d like a mobile phone app that gives advice

As mentioned previously, we are in the process of procuring a mobile app which will have useful health advice and help guide people to the right service for them.


The CNWL Recovery and Wellbeing College is a best kept secret – it should be more known and used

Central North West London (CNWL) Trust has recently produced the following short video which sets out the work it does and how it can help.

The work of the college will be developed more as part of improvements to Primary Care mental health services.

Please feel free to share as widely as possible.


Carers need support too. Brent Carers Centre should be promoted more

The carers centre will attend future Health Partner Forum events so people can find out about the important work it does.

The centre will also be involved in the development of our Better Care Fund work which will see NHS and social care services working more closely together on services such as rehabilitation and providing support so more people stay independent for longer and don’t need to stay in a care home.

Supporting carers is one of our key objectives for 2015-16.

Through the health and wellbeing strategy we will work with the council to support people to take better care of themselves.

We will put support for carers in place with online access to appointments, e-prescriptions, self-management advice, support (e.g. telecare and telephone consultations) and service signposting.

At the same time, we are changing the way we engage with local people so that, for our 2016-17 commissioning intentions, we get a more accurate view from carers – along with other members of the public and patients – when deciding our priorities.


Some of the CCG budget is set aside so local people can get funding for their innovative ideas to help the health service

There is funding available in the current financial year for groups of practices that we call localities to develop innovative ideas.

While this funding is not available to individual residents, we know local residents – the people who use NHS services – often have great ideas for improving care.

If you think you have a particularly good idea that could benefit people across the borough then it is worth joining your practice patient participation group.

We are about to start gathering local views on what our priorities for next year (2016-17) should be and we would like to hear any good ideas you have.

We are overhauling the way we engage with local people so their views form part of the important decisions we make on patient care.

Not only that but, by focusing our resources, strengthening the amount of outreach we do and improving the information we get from local people, we hope that those innovative ideas and suggestions will come through more readily.


To support primary care and reduce burden of specialised institutions in mental health:

  • Support GPs
  • Establish community psychology clinics linked with GPs in a certain location. It will improve quality and reduce costs.

The way we offer support for mental health and wellbeing is designed to do just that. We know it is better for people to get help sooner – for example via their GP – rather than later when it might have become more serious.  

For example, we currently run psychological therapies in GP Practices across Brent so people with low/mild mental issues can easily access support.

We will be expanding this programme in the wider community and running more psychological therapy sessions in places that are familiar to residents and convenient to get to (e.g. community centres) to further improve access – especially for hard-to-reach groups.


To improve continuity of mental health care at the community and family level:

  • Work closely with community-based organisations. Currently, the networking is mostly ad hoc. A systematic, objective- orientated and managed networking approach is needed.

 We recognise that we need to work in a more structured way with community groups. That is the main reason why we reviewed the way we engage with local people.

As a result of the review, we will put extra resource into our engagement and outreach work so we can be more systematic about how we work with local people.


  • Need permanent multi-lingual service-delivery (reflecting the multi-cultural characteristics of the community) and more opportunities for providers from minority groups. This needs long-term planning.

As part of our commissioning intentions for 2016-17, we will look at how the Increasing Access to Psychological Services (IAPT) service can better support the diverse population in Brent; considering diversity in terms of language, culture, religion etc.

Future forum events will be looking at our commissioning intentions so if you have a suggestion as to how we can make IAPT services easier to access for all Brent residents, let us know.

We also have the engagement email address for your suggestions and comments.


  • Most of the clients with mental health problems are seeking support at a later stage.

We have developed mental health services to support Brent residents – particularly so people get support early – and to help build their resilience. These services include:

  • Big White Wall – an online community where people can share their feelings (whilst remaining anonymous and gain support from other people and trained therapists online.)   Users can access support for up to 6 months
  • Psychotherapy services (IAPT) – Central and North West London (CNWL) NHS Trust provides psychotherapy services to support Brent residents with emotional problems and/or mental health conditions. Residents can access psychotherapy services at CNWL sites and GP practices but, in the near future, we will expand access into more convenient places such as community centres. 


Need to develop culturally-sensitive and linguistically-competent mechanisms to overcome stigma and improve caring behaviour, especially of BME.

As part of our commissioning intentions for 2016-17, we want to look at how the Increasing Access to Psychological Services (IAPT) service can better support the diverse population in Brent; considering diversity in terms of language, culture, religion etc.

Future forum events will be looking at our commissioning intentions so if you have a suggestion as to how we can make IAPT services easier to access for all Brent residents, let us know.

We also have our engagement email address for your suggestions and comments.