We came second in two awards at the national Healthwatch conference!

Each year Healthwatch England takes the opportunity to showcase outstanding examples of where local Healthwatch have gone above and beyond to ensure that local people receive the health and care that they need and deserve.

This year there were 170 entries from across England. We entered under two categories: Helping people have their say and Improving health and social care.

Helping people have their say

Our Audio Diary Project on the Highgate Centre report was runner up in the Helping people have their say award. The Highgate Centre Audio Diary Project was a collaboration between us and service users from the Highgate Day Centre.

During 2015-16, the service underwent significant changes, partly as a consequence of resource constraints and partly in response to changes in thinking around appropriate models for service delivery.

We offered to work with the service users at the Highgate Centre to co-design a research project that would seek to capture, in real time, their lived experiences of the service changes at the Centre.

Results included the Camden New Journal publishing a story on the project, in particular highlighting that as a result of our work, health officials offered an apology to service users due to failings in the management of the closure of the service.

As a result of this work our expertise has been sought by local organisations.  

Improving health and social care

Our work in making sure that GPs provide information in a way that people can understand was runner up in the improving health and social care award.  Local residents in Camden told us that GP services were not properly supporting those with communication needs. So we decided to take action. As a result, a number of changes have been made to improve people’s experiences of visiting the doctor.

For example, at all GP practices in Camden:

  • Patients can now register using large print or easy read forms
  • GPs ask new patients to tell them about any communication support needs they may have
  • Staff are given deaf awareness training to improve how they communicate with patients

Thanks to everyone who spoke to us about the problems they faced, practice care has now been changed for all.

We’re pleased that we’ve been able to make such a huge difference to the local community and are grateful for the recognition we received for our work. We will continue to work with the local community to make sure that every voice counts in the coming years.

Have your say below