Community Listener

Healthwatch Surrey is supporting the NHS and social care by helping them to understand what is working well and not so well for local people during the Covid-19 pandemic.

  • Healthwatch Surrey is a statutory organisation that listens to what local people have to say about the health and social care services they access.
  • We take their views and concerns to decision makers, to influence and improve how local services are run.
  • We keep an eye on changes to services and make sure that local people are consulted in decision making and in the design of local health and social care services.

What will I do as a Community Listener?

  • Our Community Listeners help us to identify local community groups such as carers groups, veterans’ groups and faith groups, who are meeting virtually.
  • They attend these virtual community meetings regularly to introduce the participants to Healthwatch, and build rapport and trust, so that they feel comfortable with sharing their health and social care experiences with us.
  • They listen to what local people have to say about the health and care services they use, and accurately record their personal experiences, both good and bad, and identify key themes.
  • They also signpost people to local services that can support them.

How does this make a difference?

We work closely with the CQC, Surrey County Council, Clinical Commissioners and NHS service providers in Surrey to provide feedback from patients, escalate concerns and work to improve services based on the patient experiences our Community Listeners have collected. We engage with less well served communities, especially those at risk of health inequalities to ensure everyone has a say in the care they receive.

This role will suit someone who:

  • Is interested in health and social care
  • Enjoys talking to people
  • Is a good listener
  • Has a caring attitude
  • Is confident and outgoing
  • Can accurately record information
  • Enjoys working as part of a team
  • Is organised and reliable

We would especially like to hear from you if you are already linked up with voluntary, community and/or faith groups in Surrey.

Practical Considerations:

Where will I be volunteering?

Volunteering with us looks a little different right now. During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have been exploring virtual ways of reaching out to Surrey residents, using MS Teams and Zoom. In the future, once it is safe to resume our face-to-face community engagement and outreach work, our Community Listeners may also return to speaking to Surrey residents in hospitals, care homes, surgeries, and other community settings in their local area to hear their views. 

What time commitment will I be expected to make?

Our volunteers typically give 2 to 3 mornings or afternoons a month, however you can give more or less of your time if you wish. Some community groups may meet virtually on evenings and weekends. volunteering with us is flexible, and you pick which activities you wish to support us with.

Will my expenses be paid?

We reimburse volunteers for travel expenses.

What training will I need?

Training in safeguarding, equality and diversity and community engagement will be provided for this role, as well as ongoing support.

Will I need a DBS check?

You may be required to undergo a standard DBS check to complete your volunteer role.

If you have any questions about volunteering with us, please contact our Volunteer Officer: volunteers@healthwatchsurrey.co.uk