Celebrating the Healthwatch network’s success

The remarkable contribution local Healthwatch across the country have made to health and social care at a local and national level has been marked at the Healthwatch Network Awards of Achievement 2015.
 group picture of awards winners at healthwatch conference

The achievements of 37 local Healthwatch were recognised on the first day of the network’s two-day Annual Conference in Manchester at an awards ceremony.

Local Healthwatch who have made a notable difference to health and social care services in their local areas over the past year were declared winners across nine categories.

More than 150 entries were received and 50 were shortlisted. Over 400 attendees from 148 local Healthwatch were at the event, along with other representatives from across the health and social care sector. David Behan, Chief Executive of the CQC and Flora Goldhill, Director for Children, Families & Maternity and Health Inequalities at the Department of Health were amongst the special guests who both presented awards.

Also awarded was the Network's Choice award, which saw eight local Healthwatch presenting to delegates on their work before on-the-day voting took place to choose a winner.

Anna Bradley, our Chair said:

“We were really impressed with the high standard of entries this year for all categories. They are a true testament to the amazing work the network are doing up and down the country, day in-day out.

“The award winners are shining examples of the impact the work of local Healthwatch has at both a local and national level, bringing patients’ voices to the forefront to enable positive, sustainable changes to health and social care services.”

See a full list of the award categories, the winners and those who were highly commended below.

The Network's Choice Award

WINNER - Healthwatch Northamptonshire

The winner of this highly anticipated award was Healthwatch Northamptonshire, for their "moving, thought provoking and dedicated" work with people in secure mental health settings such as St Andrew's Healthcare. Their handling of issues over patient wellbeing (particularly unexplained deaths in these settings) and their subsequent recommendations to the provider led to commitments for improvement and action being taken.

Making a difference in diversity and inclusion

WINNER- Local Healthwatch across North, Central and East London (Redbridge, Islington, Enfield, Haringey, Camden, Barnet, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, City of London, Hackney, Barking and Dagenham, Havering, in partnership with the British Deaf Association)

A group of 13 local Healthwatch in North, Central and East London (referenced above) won this award for their training programme for deaf Enter and View volunteers, funded by HENCEL. To date the project has recruited and trained 14 deaf BSL volunteers across eight London boroughs, with 43% from BME communities, with the aim of improving deaf people’s experiences of health and social care services. All NHS trusts where Enter and View visits have so far been conducted have been receptive to learning from the visits and have committed to changing systems and practice as a result.


  • Healthwatch Bradford
  • Healthwatch Northamptonshire

Making a difference through volunteering

WINNER - Healthwatch Dorset

Volunteers make a huge contribution to the work of local Healthwatch and this award for Healthwatch Dorset recognises how, by providing local leadership and support to volunteers, exceptional results can be achieved. Dorset has over 250 volunteers, many of whom fed into the report “Something to Complain About?” by gaining an insight into how supported or able people feel to make a complaint about their GP service. As a result, 48 local GP practices made improvements to their services.


  • Healthwatch Lincolnshire
  • Healthwatch York

Making a difference to healthcare

WINNERS (JOINT) - Healthwatch Hertfordshire and Healthwatch Leeds

Awarded to Healthwatch that have used the views of local people to influence healthcare providers to bring about change, Healthwatch Hertfordshire gathered views on access to GP services, using their findings and recommendations to inform the public and work with practices to increase patient satisfaction. These recommendations have been formally endorsed by NHS England. Healthwatch Leeds looked at people’s experiences of accessing and using Accident and Emergency services, sharing their findings with local commissioners and providers and the CQC which resulted in a published plan of agreed actions from the Trust.


  • Healthwatch Leicestershire

Making a difference to social care

WINNER Healthwatch Staffordshire

Healthwatch Staffordshire’s work on support for carers has led to improved services for carers and had real impact in terms of greater carer involvement and engagement for carers on a sustained basis. They spoke to carers and carer organisations and presented their findings to their local Carers Partnership, who used the findings and recommendations to inform the biggest local review of services for carers in 20 years and the co-production of their Carers Outcomes Framework.


  • Healthwatch West Sussex
  • Healthwatch Northamptonshire

Making a difference with other local Healthwatch

WINNER - Local Healthwatch across North, Central and East London

Local Healthwatch in North, Central and East London (Redbridge, Islington, Enfield, Haringey, Camden, Barnet, Newham, Tower Hamlets, Waltham Forest, City of London, Hackney, Barking and Dagenham, Havering) worked to address the barriers faced by deaf Londoners across a whole range of services. Funded by HENCEL, led by Healthwatch Redbridge and in partnership with the British Deaf Association, local Healthwatch shared resources to recruit and train deaf volunteers for mystery shopping and Enter and View, as well as developing shared training materials for deaf BSL users. Local providers are already receptive to recommendations as a result of this training, and the group is looking at how to engage other local Healthwatch in England in similar cross-borough activity.


  • Healthwatch in Wessex (Dorset, Hampshire, Isle of Wight, Southampton, Portsmouth)
  • Healthwatch in Yorkshire and Bolton (Kirklees, Bradford, Calderdale, Wakefield, Leeds, Bolton)

Making a difference with the CQC

WINNER - Healthwatch Cambridgeshire

Healthwatch Cambridgeshire’s work with the CQC on improving care in local hospitals through inspection has ensured that the experiences of people who use hospital services are at the heart of improvements. They have engaged in detailed discussion with CQC around each inspection, gathered a wealth of evidence through Enter and View visits and shared historical data with the CQC to inform their inspection regime. In total, 60 pieces of evidence of care were submitted to CQC inspectors as well as feedback from a Listening Event; these contributions were recognised by the CQC in their final report.


  • Healthwatch East Sussex
  • Healthwatch Staffordshire

Making a difference through commissioning

WINNER - Healthwatch Leeds

For 2014-15, one of Healthwatch Leeds priorities was to increase the participation, voice and influence of Children & Young People in improving health and social care services in Leeds. They achieved this by feeding into local CCGs’ review of emotional and mental health services for children and young people in partnership with YoungMinds, a national charity. Leeds Scrutiny Board said it was their “best example to date” of partnership working, Leeds City Council agreed to incorporate the report’s findings into their review of support for local children and young people and findings from the report have been used to influence Time to Change’s national campaign around mental health stigma.


  • Healthwatch Camden
  • Healthwatch South Tyneside

Making a difference across the system

WINNER - Healthwatch Kirklees

This award was given to Healthwatch Kirklees for their work on gathering and understanding patients’ views of Section 136 of the Mental Health Act 1983. Identifying several areas for improvement in the way people were detained by the police, this work has helped change the way services in the area are delivered, including the implementation of police mental health liaison nurses and additional mental health training for staff.


  • Healthwatch Staffordshire
  • Healthwatch Northamptonshire