Location: Birmingham, Aston Villa Football Club
On the 20 June Healthwatch England held its inaugural national conference in Birmingham. Over 200 representatives from local Healthwatch came together to hear speeches, presentations and network with colleagues.
Norman Lamb MP, Minister of State for Care and Support and the Rt Hon Andy Burnham MP, Shadow Secretary of State for Health delivered keynote speeches.
Anna Bradley, Chair, Healthwatch England, spoke of her vision for Healthwatch and the future.
Richard Lloyd, Executive Director, Which? and Baroness Dianne Hayter, Shadow Consumer Minister delivered presentations on What does it mean to be a consumer champion for health and social care which aimed to inspire the audience to think like consumer champions and gave a different perspective away from the health and social care sector.
Other presentations included, How to engage communities by Gemma Bruce, Head of Community Engagement, Co-production and Research, Turning Point and Doing things differently – engaging children and young people by Christine Lenehan OBE, Healthwatch England Committee Member, Director of the Council for Disabled Children and Paul Cutler, Independent Consultant. The Support for local Healthwatch session with Dr Katherine Rake OBE, Chief Executive, Healthwatch England and Georgie Bigg, Chair, Healthwatch North Somerset gave interesting views on priorities for local Healthwatch moving forward and how Healthwatch England and local Healthwatch can work together in the future.
A significant highlight at the conference was the launch of Healthwatch England’s mini report on complaints. View the film here on our website. Dr Katherine Rake OBE, Chief Executive, Healthwatch England presented Healthwatch England’s plan to overhaul the NHS complaints system following a survey that showed almost half of people lacked confidence in the current system. More information on our complaints work can be viewed on our 'About complaints' page.
The conference programme closed with the film 'Why having a voice matters'. View the 'Why having a voice matters' film on our website.
The conference was supported by an exhibition of key stakeholders and featured a surgery and hub demos provided by the Healthwatch England team for local Healthwatch.
The final highlight of the day was a momentous group photograph taken of the Healthwatch network.
The Healthwatch England team would like to thank everyone that attended, exhibited and supported the conference.
View a selection of photographs from the day
Recordings of the conference sessions are available to view here