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The voice of local people in health and care

Open Access Guidance

Our Principles and making them happen

your voice countsWhat is it all about?

Healthwatch Leeds supports local people to be part of making sure health and care services in Leeds are the best that they can be.

We do this by:  

  • Providing easy to understand information about health and social care services.
  • Making sure everybody has an equal say on health and social care services in Leeds.
  • Making sure that the people of Leeds are at the heart of planning, designing and checking services.

easy readWe aim to make sure that the information we give is easy to understand. We are lucky in Leeds that we have lots of different communities who can help us work out the best way to communicate with people across Leeds.  

We are always willing to learn. If there is something we need to do differently we will always welcome the support from local people and organisations to work out what this looks like.

ring of peopleWe have an Open Access task group that includes lots of people and organisations. Their job is to work out how Healthwatch Leeds can be accessible to all. 

Who are the standards for?

Healthwatch Leeds board members, staff and volunteers. 


What are the principles and how we make it happen?

Giving informationstyles of accessability


Healthwatch Leeds aims to make sure people and organisations have the right information in the right way at the right time. We will always try to make sure this information is easy to understand for everyone.

How we make it happen

  • Healthwatch Leeds will always make sure we record how you want to get information from us.information
  • Healthwatch Leeds will record the following information:

How you want to be contacted

What way do you want to receive information

If you need somebody who can support you to understand information.

  • We will provide information in an easy to understand way. This might include text, braille, audio format or any other way which is useful to you.
  • We will provide information and support as quickly as possible.
  • Healthwatch Leeds will ensure information and support is of the best quality we can give.

Collection of information


  • We will make sure people feel safe and confident to share their experiences.house phone

How we make it happen

  • We will try to make sure everyone can feedback their experiences of health and social care services in a way that best suits them.
  • We have a clear way to make sure we can record what people tell us.
  • We know that some people need support to tell us about their experience. We will always work to get the right support for people.  answer
  • We will store securely all feedback we receive and use it to identify any areas where health and social care may need improving.

Volunteering and contribution

What do we mean by volunteering and contribution in the Open Access guidance?volunteering

People, communities and organisations have the opportunity to contribute to planning, doing the work and checking how the work of Healthwatch Leeds is going. We want everybody to be able to do this.


  • We aim to apply co-production principles in all aspects of our work.

The principles of co-production are:

  1. Everybody has something to offerfaces
  2. We value work differently which means everybody’s contribution is worth the same.
  3. Social Networks. This is about using the different people and places we all know to do the work of Healthwatch Leeds.
  4. Reciprocity - this is about give and get. We hope that when you take part in any of the work of Healthwatch Leeds you will benefit as well.

How we make it happen

  • We will talk to you about the different things you know about and what you are good at.
  • Everybody has skills and knowledge to offer, we strive to support people if needed, to help make this happen
  • We will be providing different opportunities for you to get involved.
  • If somebody is volunteering at Healthwatch Leeds we will talk to them about how things are going and help you learn new skills.

We will always keep you informed about the work you have got involved in. 

How will we check this is working?boardroom

These are the things we check every year

  • how we give and collect information;
  • how we involve individuals and volunteers
  • the current volunteer profilespark

We have a task and finish group which will be in charge of checking how this work is going. The current task and finish group has proposed to monitor how Healthwatch Leeds is progressing as the standards suggest every 6 months.

Supporting information

We can provide

  • A list of the organisations we have worked with to provide the communication support.supporting information

A list of places where you can download free images, making standard documents easier for people to understand.