The Healthwatch Network, which has a local Healthwatch in 152 local authority areas in England, has announced the winners of their annual awards.
Healthwatch aim to garner the views and opinions of people who use public health services in order to be able to help improve those services for people who use them in the future.
This year Healthwatch has worked with over one million people who used services.
The awards were given in 3 categories, with the winners being decided by Healthwatch’s national committee.
The committee awarded Healthwatch Leeds the team impact award for ensuring that local people’s views remained central to a new mental health strategy which will bring together both children and adults’ mental health services.
Healthwatch Wiltshire received an award for the work they did working with a large number of organisations to establish how feedback gathered from 1,600 people across four years had been used to improve services for people living with dementia and their carers.
And finally, two volunteers from Healthwatch Northamptonshire were given the volunteers award for their work to champion service user feedback at Kettering General Hospital. The volunteers made 43 trips to visit patients on 50 wards to find out their views - work which resulted in the hospital developing an action plan to address many of issues patients had raised.
Sir Robert Francis QC, Chair of Healthwatch England, said:
“Since the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded in March, staff and volunteers within local Healthwatch across England have not stopped working. Together, they have done amazing work, mobilising staff and volunteers to advise a concerned public, and alerting services to the issues that were confusing or preventing people from getting the care they needed.
“This year’s Healthwatch Awards have been a fantastic chance to recognise the difference local Healthwatch have made, both before and during the pandemic.
“They are also a great showcase of how by sharing your experience with Healthwatch or giving up your time to volunteer, you can make a real difference to your community. The judging panel were extremely impressed by the extremely high standards of nominations we received and I would like to congratulate all those who were shortlisted for their achievements.”