Healthwatch 2018 network award winners announced

The Healthwatch network came together to recognise some of the fantastic work of local community champions helping to improve the country’s hospitals, GPs and care services.
Four women holding a Healthwatch Network award
All of the entrants this year demonstrated the real impact we can have when people’s experiences are placed at the heart of the services they receive.
— Imelda Redmond, National Director of Healthwatch England

Last night the Healthwatch network came together to recognise some of the fantastic work of local community champions helping to improve the country’s hospitals, GPs and care services.

A record breaking 170 entries from over 100 local Healthwatch teams were submitted this year. These were then whittled down to 35 shortlisted entries across seven categories.

The winners were chosen by members of our committee, with the awards presented by high profile speakers including Chief Executive of NHS England, Simon Stevens, and Chair of the Parliamentary Health and Social Care Committee, Sarah Wollaston.

Giving people the advice and information they need

Winner - Healthwatch Wirral

Healthwatch Wirral’s Infobank service, developed in partnership with Arrowe Park Hospital, won this category for helping more than 12,000 local people access information and advice about a whole range of services – from help quitting smoking to finding a care home for a loved one.

Runner up – Healthwatch Surrey

Highly commended 

  • Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire,
  • Healthwatch Shropshire
  • Healthwatch Torbay


Winner – Healthwatch Wiltshire

Healthwatch Wiltshire won this award for their outstanding efforts working with young volunteers to support hundreds of people have their say on mental health. By recruiting 21 ‘Young Listeners’ to visit schools they have made it easier for young people to speak up about their experiences and helped those who need support to access it more quickly.

Healthwatch Wiltshire have this year demonstrated the real power of peer support. They helped young people who had experienced mental health challenges to grow in confidence through volunteering, learn how to support themselves, and how to help others too.
— Liz Sayce, award judge and Healthwatch National Committee Member

Runner up – Healthwatch South Gloucestershire

Highly commended 

  • Healthwatch Birmingham
  • Healthwatch Derbyshire
  • Healthwatch Northamptonshire  


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Helping people have their say

Winner – Healthwatch Northamptonshire  

With the local Clinical Commissioning Group looking to improve maternity services, Healthwatch Northamptonshire reached out to over 500 local parents to find out what they wanted to see improved. Their inclusive approach, using a mix of social media and community events, meant they were able to gather a diverse range of experiences, from young parents to mums who experienced mental health challenges.

Runner up – Healthwatch Camden

Highly commended 

  • Healthwatch County Durham
  • Healthwatch Herefordshire
  • Healthwatch Staffordshire  

Improving health and social care

Winner – Healthwatch Hillingdon  

The majority of the 170 people Healthwatch Hillingdon spoke to at the local Hospital provided positive feedback about services. However, they did raise poor experiences around the discharge process. Using this insight, the Healthwatch made a number of specific recommendations leading to the hospital making important changes such as addressing delays with patient transport and identifying carers so extra help can be provided.     

Runner up – Healthwatch Camden

Highly commended 

  • Healthwatch Enfield,
  • Healthwatch Manchester,
  • Healthwatch Tower Hamlets

Championing diversity and inclusion

Winner – Healthwatch Staffordshire  

People living in prisons are entitled to the same level and quality of health services as other NHS patients, but access isn’t always as good as it should be. Thanks to Healthwatch Staffordshire, working in partnership with NHS England, new licenses have been put in place enabling people living in six local prisons to access community dentistry services.

Runner up – Healthwatch Lancashire

Highly commended

  • Healthwatch East Sussex,
  • Healthwatch Hampshire,
  • Healthwatch Oxfordshire


2018 is the second year of the #ItStartsWithYou award, celebrating the individuals who have passionately worked towards improving health and care for their community. Nominees are put forward by their local Healthwatch.

Winner – Tony Bentley, nominated by Healthwatch County Durham   

When Tony needed to find a reliable care home for his mum he struggled to get the information he needed. He raised his concerns with Healthwatch County Durham and worked with them to convince the council and local care homes to create and update a local database to provide people with the information they need to make such an important decision.

Runner up – Errol Campbell, nominated by Healthwatch Bristol

Highly commended

  • Becky Lawley, nominated by Healthwatch Dudley,
  • Families of Nascot Lawn, nominated by Healthwatch Hertfordshire,
  • Sandra Bell, nominated by Healthwatch Northamptonshire

Be inspired

Read more about the five incredible nominees for this year's #ItStartsWithYou award category and find out how you can make a difference to health and social care in your community.

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Celebrating 70 years of the NHS

Across England, doctors, nurses and other care professionals regularly go the extra mile to ensure the public are looked after. This year, as the NHS turns 70, we have created this special award to recognise the health and social care organisations that have put people first. Nominations were put forward by local Healthwatch.

Winner: Surrey Heartlands Health and Care Partnership, nominated by Healthwatch Surrey 

The NHS in Surrey, in partnership with the local council, developed a plan that would improve the health and wellbeing of local people. From the beginning they decided that they wanted an approach that was driven by the needs and wants of the community. They have worked hard to engage thousands of local people in the planning process and have worked with Healthwatch Surrey to recruit seven ‘Community Ambassadors’ to oversee the engagement programme.

Runner up: Peartree Medical Centre, nominated by Healthwatch Derby

Highly commended:

  • Dr. Knut Schroeder, nominated by Healthwatch Bristol
  • Ann O’Brien, Integrated Commissioning Manager for people with a learning disability, nominated by Healthwatch Isle of Wight
  • Avery Mews Care Home and the Co-operative Childcare Nursery in Dewsbury, nominated by Healthwatch Kirklees


Catch up with the latest from our Healthwatch conference 2018 on Twitter.

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Read more about the award winning stories from this year's event.

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Talk to your local Healthwatch

You can help make health and care services better by sharing your experiences and ideas. Talk to your local Healthwatch.

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