Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees was shortlisted under the ‘The impact our team makes working with partners’ category in the Healthwatch Network Awards of Achievement 2020, which are run by Healthwatch England.
This annual event – which this year is taking place virtually due to the pandemic - celebrates the difference Healthwatch’s 4,400 staff and volunteers have made over the past year.
The shortlisted project saw Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees partner with Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council and care homes for older people across the borough with the aim of improving the quality of life for older people, specifically people living with dementia and minority groups.
As national finalists, the team were recognised for undertaking 28 Enter and View visit to care homes, leading to a number of recommendations. Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees also shared its findings with the local authority and were invited to input into a ‘dementia-friendly’ guide for service providers, which was distributed to all care services across the Borough.
The team were also asked to host and speak at the guide launch event attended by care home managers and senior staff. Follow up visits to several care homes highlighted improvements that had been made and the difference this had made to residents being accommodated.
Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees is one of only 30 local Healthwatch out of a total of 152 across England to be in the running for one of the awards.
Like their colleagues across the country, Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees staff and volunteers have been supporting their local community more than ever through the pandemic by:
- Finding out what people like about health and social care support, and what could be improved;
- Helping people find the information they need about services in their area and;
- Encouraging those in charge of NHS and social care services to make the changes that communities would like to see.
In addition, the team at Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees have also been carrying out work to find out how people, including younger people, have been coping during the current pandemic and the issues that have been most of concern to them.
They have also provided regular updated advice and information on their website about the pandemic and other healthcare issues that will prove beneficial to local residents.
Natasha added: “I am very proud that we have been shortlisted for such an award. I would like to thank Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council, the local care homes and staff who worked with us. Ensuring this piece of work made a positive difference to the care of residents and provided their families an opportunity to have their say regarding loved ones.”
Sir Robert Francis QC, Chair of Healthwatch England, said: “I never stop being inspired by the dedication of local Healthwatch staff to making care better for their communities. Whether reaching out those whose views are not being heard, helping people to find the support they need or making sure NHS and social care services act on the improvements that the public want to see, the award entries highlight the difference local Healthwatch make. I would like to congratulate everyone who has been shortlisted. They have done their communities proud."
The overall winner from each category will be chosen by a panel of judges and announced during Healthwatch Week, which runs from Monday 2 November 2020.