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Stories from our community

We have collected some of the stories from people who have used our services. These accounts demonstrate some of the struggles that Brent residents have had with health and social care, as well as the support that is available from Healthwatch Brent.

*Names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of the people we work with. 

Seeking urgent surgery

MegaphoneThrough our advice and signposting service, we have been able to get one of our patients the surgery they desperately needed.

Mr Rivero* came to us because they wanted to make a complaint about their GP. They had become frustrated after a delay to their important surgery being booked, and found that the GP was not helpful. With language barriers, Mr Rivero had struggled to express himself and was becoming increasingly concerned about his health.

After speaking to the GP and hospital involved, we were able to ensure that the surgery was booked. We also referred Mr Rivero to POhWER for NHS complaints advocacy. Talking about the experience, he said: “Thanks for your help, you’ve been amazing! Thank you so much.” 


Getting support for making a complaint 

two figures talking

A female patient came to our advice service looking for support in raising a formal complaint.

Ms Amin* had written a letter to their GP surgery, raising a formal complaint. Unfortunately, she had not received any acknowledgement after 28 days passed. She told us: “they don't follow the complaints procedure or give any care. I had recent surgery and I am in pain, since there is no face to face, why are they failing me?"

We contacted the GP surgery and asked them to investigate the complaint. The Practice Manager contacted the patient, and a full investigation is now underway to determine why the patient did not get the follow up care they needed, including medications and post op care.

Ms Amin was satisfied with the support from HWB, and would like to volunteer with HWB once better. She would like to ensure that Brent residents know how to navigate the health system.

Accessing urgent dental treatment 

Many people in Brent have told us that they’re struggling to access dental services. Recently we were able to help one patient who needed support getting treatment for an urgent dental problem.

Mr Amel* was experiencing severe dental pain following root canal treatment. He needed follow up care, but his current dentist was unable to offer what was required.

We worked with Mr Amel to find him another dentist who could carry out the specialist root canal treatment needed on the NHS. He told us: “Thank you for your help. I am grateful for your assistance.” 


Updating vaccination status for a trip home

two figures talking

Miss Campbell* had visited a pop-up Covid-19 vaccination centre to receive her vaccine – but when she wanted to return to her home country, she found that she had no way of proving that she had been vaccinated. She told us: “I cannot get my vaccination certificate to go home.”

We helped her to register with a GP so that an NHS number could be assigned. We then contacted the Covid-19 vaccination team and were able to work with the team to have the NHS number updated with the vaccine record.