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Wirral health campaigners shortlisted for national award in record year

Aug 2, 2018 | Featured, News

  • Local health champion is one of 28 shortlisted for national awards
  • Awards recognise Healthwatch Wirral teams and volunteers who have put their communities at the heart of the big decisions about health and care
  • There are a record-breaking 170 entries this year

From encouraging a greater focus on wellbeing services for rough sleepers in Hastings to improving seven-day access to GPs in Manchester, Healthwatch across the country have been working hard to ensure health and care services meet the needs of their communities. 

Recognising the efforts of local staff and volunteers, today Healthwatch England 
is announcing those who have been shortlisted for the annual Healthwatch Network Awards 2018.

Celebrated every year, the awards highlight the ways in which local Healthwatch across the country have helped make people’s views of health and social care services heard.

Healthwatch Wirral has been nominated for an award for “Giving people the advice and information they need”. (Ensuring communities get the advice and information they need to make decisions about their wellbeing, care and the services that support them.)

Combining collaboration, information & advice, signposting and face to face contact Healthwatch Wirral’s work within the Information Bank, based at Arrowe Park Hospital, has resulted in vast improvements in the volumes of people we are able to talk to. This enables us to help at the earliest point in the individual’s journey. Patients, their families & friends, staff and other professionals have all benefitted from this central point of support and information. The Info bank has also helped with the reduction of pressure on an already over-burdened complaints process.

There were more than 170 entries. Other shortlisted nominations from around the country to the Healthwatch Network Awards include:

  • In Manchester, the local Healthwatch noticed that the volume of complaints about not being able to get a GP appointment had not changed despite a new initiative to increase opening hours of local surgeries. A mystery shopper exercise conducted by volunteers revealed that only two out of five GP practices were offering the new evening and weekend appointments to patients. Their findings led to major marketing drive by the local Clinical Commissioning Group which has seen the number of complaints received by the local Healthwatch fall dramatically.
  • In East Sussex, the Healthwatch worked with voluntary and public sector organisations and identified the local homeless community as one of the county’s most seldom heard and vulnerable groups. To find out what could be done to tackle the inequality and improve services for these people, Healthwatch East Sussex went out at night in the seaside town of Hasting and asked rough sleepers what they wanted from health and care. Since their engagement exercise there has been increased emphasis from local services on prevention and wellbeing, helping homeless people to stay well rather than waiting for them to become unwell before providing support.

The overall winner from each category will be chosen by a panel of judges and announced at our annual conference in October 2018.

Karen Prior, Healthwatch Wirral Chief Officer, said:

“The staff and volunteers of Healthwatch Wirral have been fantastic.  They have shown their individual values and compassion when dealing with people.  Identifying where people are in their journey, we have been able to signpost effectively using our directory of services.   All of our staff live, work and use services on Wirral enabling us to know our locality and we continue to work hard to build our directory and ensure it is fresh and up to date.

Wirral University Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust (WUTHFT) have demonstrated a willingness to do “something different” in order to tackle the issue of delayed discharge and re-admission; by working with LHW to establish outside support for patients leaving hospital.   I would personally like to thank everyone involved for their hard work, and flexibility, during the set up of the Information Bank; all of which has enabled us to be nominated and shortlisted for this Award. 

We would be more than happy to receive your feedback on health and care services you, or someone you know, have used.  We are, in fact, interested in hearing about anything that affects your health or care.   If you would like to get involved with Healthwatch by volunteering please contact us on 0151 230 8957 or email us at: [email protected] – thank you.”

Jane Mordue, Chair of Healthwatch England, said:

“Last year, more than 341,000 people shared their views about where things could be improved in health and social care with the Healthwatch network.

“The Healthwatch Network Awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate this work, highlighting the difference local Healthwatch have made by using this wealth of intelligence to help decision makers target their efforts to make things better.

“This year we received some outstanding entries from the network with over 150 submissions. We were impressed by the quality and incredible range of work on show and they all highlight the real impact we can have when people’s experiences are placed at the heart of the services they receive.”

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