It Starts With You

The more people share their ideas, experiences and concerns about NHS and social care, the more services can understand what works, what doesn't and what people want from care in the future.

Thanks to people telling their local Healthwatch what they think about health and care, services across England have already made positive changes that benefit the people using them.

But to make the biggest difference, we need to hear from more people. No matter how big or small the issue, we want to hear about it.

If it matters to one person, it's very likely that it matters to somebody else.

By sharing your story you can actually help doctors, dentists, hospitals and care homes understand what's working and what could be better for you and your community.

Imelda Redmond, National Director

How sharing your story makes a difference

staff holding up it starts with you sign

Meet the people using their voice to make a difference to care of others

Five people and groups have been shortlisted for a national award that celebrates local people who, through their dedication, have helped improve health and care for their community.

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Image of children at respite care

Families fight to save local respite service

Thanks to a group of families in Hertfordshire, changes are being made to respite care and support for families of children with complex needs.

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Image of a man looking confused using his laptop

It's easier to choose a care home in Durham thanks to Tony

After struggling to find the right information when choosing a care home for his mum, Tony decided to take matters into his own hands.

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Image of Errol and his friends helping to raise awareness of prostate cancer

Speaking up saves lives in Bristol

Thanks to Errol, more men in Bristol are aware of the signs of prostate cancer and are being diagnosed and treated.

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Image of Sandra

Getting the basics right for people who are Deaf

Thanks to Sandra, NHS England is improving the way they communicate with people who are Deaf or hard of hearing.

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Photo of Becky

Helping young people speak up about their mental health

Becky felt there wasn’t enough mental health support for people her age, and decided something needed to change.

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A group of women talking

Women and families who have lost babies speak up to support their peers

Women and families are getting the help they need after suffering the loss of a baby, thanks to support from people who have been through the same thing.

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15 year old Darian

15 year old leads campaign to improve mental health services

Darian found that his friends and peers were struggling with their mental health and didn't know where to go for support. Concerned, he decided to do something about it.

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Betty, 86 year old volunteer

86-year old dedicates over 250 hours to improving services

Local people's views on health and social care are heard thanks to Betty, 86.

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Joley, Healthwatch volunteer

Volunteer shares experiences of Aspergers Syndrome to encourage young people to speak up

A 24-year-old woman in Dorset has been leading the charge in helping health and care services in the county understand the issues affecting young people.

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Parent who shared their story

Parent secures changes to orthotics services by sharing her son's experience

Speaking up about her son’s experience saw one woman help improve orthotics services for people across the country.

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Angela in her wheelchair

Islington resident helps make phoning social workers easier

Angela's idea has helped make it easier for people in Islington to speak to their social worker on the phone.

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