As part of the 70th anniversary of the NHS, Healthwatch England are joining in the celebrations with the launch of a new award to recognise the outstanding contributions of health and care staff towards improving patient care.
Nominated by local Healthwatch from across the country, individuals and organisations have been put forward for their efforts seeking out feedback and acting on it to create services designed around people’s needs.
This award forms part of the broader #ItStartsWithYou campaign to encourage a million people to share their stories about their experiences of health and care and what they think needs to change. To encourage people to come forward, it is vital that the NHS and social care sector highlights areas where people’s views are already making a big difference.
Healthwatch Isle of Wight’s nomination, Ann O’Brien, has been shortlisted for the Network NHS 70 Award for supporting those with learning disabilities to have their say on the Isle of Wight.
Ann is the local integrated commissioning manager for the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group and the Isle of Wight Council. Thanks to her efforts, local residents with learning disabilities are directly involved in the development, planning and commissioning of health and care services on the island leading to the development of a new Learning Disability Strategy and Action Plan which have been truly co-produced by local people with a learning disability.
The overall winner will be announced at the Healthwatch Network annual conference in October along with the rest of the Healthwatch Network award winners.
Jane Mordue, Chair of Healthwatch England, said:
“It’s great to see so many brilliant examples of health and social care staff across the country embodying the ethos of Healthwatch, gathering feedback from their patients and working with them to design services together.
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“At Healthwatch it is our job to help give people a voice in how hospitals, GP services and care homes are designed and delivered. But to transform the NHS we need people to come forward and share their experiences and ideas. Under our new strategy we aim to gather views from over a million people a year and use these to shape care.
“It’s therefore right to celebrate those shortlisted as part of the NHS 70th Birthday celebrations and I urge other health and care professionals to follow their example and work with patients as partners to shape the next 70 years of the health service.”
Joanna Smith, Healthwatch Isle of Wight Manager, said:
“We are really excited that the health and social care system recognises the value that our independence and experience will bring in helping to ensure the voices and needs of local people remain at the heart of discussions and plans about the future of services.”