Healthwatch network award winners 2016

Over 400 people came together to celebrate the difference local Healthwatch across the country have made to health and social care at a local and national level at the Healthwatch Network Awards.
Winners of  Healthwatch Network Award

Over 39 local Healthwatch were celebrated for their achievements on the first day of the network’s two-day Annual Conference in Nottingham at an awards ceremony.

There were over 120 entries across the seven different categories and 28 were shortlisted. Over 400 attendees from  local Healthwatch were at the event, along with representatives from across the health and social care sector. David Behan, Chief Executive of the Care Quality Commission and Neil Churchill, Director of Patient Experience from NHS England were amongst the special guests who both presented awards.

Jane Mordue, our interim Chair, said:

“The Healthwatch Network Award ceremony was a fantastic opportunity for the whole network to come together and celebrate the difference local Healthwatch have made to health and social care over the past year. All of the entrants demonstrated the real impact that we can have when people’s experiences are placed at the heart of the services they receive, and it was a pleasure to take part and present an award on the night.

“I’d like to thank all those who took part – you’ve all done yourselves and your communities proud.”

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



Healthwatch Bradford and Kirklees - Improving access to NHS dentistry

After speaking to almost 2,000 people they discovered that many were having major problems getting to see a dentist. They raised people’s concerns with their Health and Wellbeing Boards and NHS England. They also got the local media and MPs on board. As a result of their hard work, NHS England has taken action to ensure that more patients who are in pain get treatment.


  • Healthwatch Kent, Healthwatch Medway, Healthwatch West Sussex, Healthwatch East Sussex, Healthwatch Brighton & Hove and Healthwatch Surrey – Working better together with the CQC

  • Healthwatch Middlesbrough, Healthwatch Stockton on Tees and Healthwatch Redcar & Cleveland - Using people’s views to help shape mental health services

  • Healthwatch Knowsley, Healthwatch Halton, Healthwatch St Helens, Healthwatch Warrington and Healthwatch Wigan - Establishing a shared view of the same mental health provider

Commissioning of services


Healthwatch Cumbria - Making sure people have their say on maternity services

Healthwatch Cumbria conducted an extensive campaign to build a picture of what a great service would look like from a user’s perspective, online and in person.  They received over 1,200 on-line responses, distributed 18,000 postcards and carried out 70 engagement sessions, 11 drop-ins and 100s of facilitated conversations. Their report directly influenced the design of an £11m maternity suite at a local hospital. It has been upheld by the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, and the Department of Health, as an example of good local Healthwatch practice and as a model for future commissioning of a maternity service in line with local views.


  • Healthwatch Haringey - For securing the opening of a new GP surgery in an area of low provision

  • Healthwatch Bradford & District - For their role in the re-commissioning of home care services

  • Healthwatch Waltham Forest- For their work on community phlebotomy services

Health & social care service improvement


Healthwatch Wakefield - Using people’s experiences to improve care in Wakefield

Over two years Healthwatch Wakefield’s staff and volunteers are talking to 1000 people with complex needs who have received the changing services that local providers are working to develop. Their work to understand people’s experiences is having a direct impact on how this service is developed for the future. Examples are: The redevelopment of the Reablement Service provided by the Council for better emergency short-term care and the piloting of a care coordinator role who involves the views of all staff groups within the Connecting Care teams.


  • Healthwatch Dudley - For their work to empowering the public to help improve local care services

  • Healthwatch Camden - For using people’s views to push for better GP services

  • Healthwatch Salford - For getting young people involved in improving mental health services

Working with CQC


Healthwatch Worcestershire - Building strong relationships to influence change in Worcestershire

Healthwatch Worcestershire shared people’s experiences and concerns about services and worked in partnership for the benefit of local community. CQC has been very public about the way this intelligence has shaped their activities. By working well together, Healthwatch Worcestershire and the Care Quality Commission have been able to make a real difference to the quality of services


  • Healthwatch Bolton - Helping CQC target the services they inspect-

  • Healthwatch Lancashire - Making care homes a better place to live

  • Healthwatch Sheffield Developing regional relationships with CQC inspectors



Healthwatch Islington - Empowering volunteers to help make people’s voices heard

Healthwatch Islington has used a whole host of ways such as training courses, online groups and celebration events to attract and retain volunteers across their community. Through their volunteer-led work they have engaged a wide range of hard-to-reach groups and made a real difference to local services. Just as importantly, the range of roles and opportunities available has also empowered the volunteers themselves.


  • Healthwatch Essex - For supporting volunteers with learning disabilities

  • Healthwatch Nottinghamshire- For making the most of volunteer power

  • Healthwatch York - For investing in volunteers to increase their impact



Healthwatch Kirklees - Championing easier and fairer access for vulnerable people

Healthwatch Kirklees heard that carers of children with severe disabilities had to travel long distances to have their benefits reviewed. They discovered that they were the only area that did not have a benefit assessment centre, while most other areas had at least two. Their subsequent campaign gained the support of an entire community, from carers to councillors and has led to the opening of an assessment centre in their area.


  • Healthwatch Barking & Dagenham - For their work to improve access to Phlebotomy services

  • Healthwatch Hampshire - For how they have worked to harness the skills of the local community

  • Healthwatch Isle of Scilly - For their work to become an accessible and effective community hub for information and advice.

Diversity and inclusion


Healthwatch Dudley - Inspiring young people to become youth researchers

Healthwatch Dudley worked with the Dudley Youth Service to set up a group of young health researchers. Their young researchers have worked hard to collect the views of 1,100 other young people. This has provided valuable intelligence to share with health and care professionals and helped the young people involve build on their skills. They are using their findings to help support and influence how mental health services for children and young people are delivered. They have presented their findings at a NHS Youth Forum Conference to 200 people including decision makers in health and care from around the UK. Their project also inspired others and is being used to help develop a Young Champion program, set up by their Public Health team, Clinical Commissioning group and Community Service Volunteers.


  • Healthwatch Blackburn with Darwen - For their work to seek out men’s views in Blackburn

  • Healthwatch Brighton & Hove - For improving advocacy for transgender people

  • Healthwatch Dorset – For investing in community projects to amplify people’s voices

How does sharing your views make a difference?  

Find out more about how through sharing your ideas and experiences with Healthwatch, you are helping to make a positive change to local health and care services.

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