Healthwatch Dorset work recognised in National Award

Healthwatch Dorset has been shortlisted for a national award that celebrates the difference local Healthwatch have made to health and social care in the past year.

Chosen from over 150 entries from across the country, Healthwatch Dorset has been shortlisted for its work to develop better and more understandable advice & information about local health and care services. With local group Poole Forum (a speaking-up group run for and by people with learning disabilities) it produced an easy-read guide on how to make a complaint about a health or social care service. And with Bournemouth Deaf Club it made a video about Healthwatch in British Sign Language (BSL).

The Healthwatch Dorset BSL video features members of Bournemouth Deaf Club and is presented by Matt Kirby. Matt told us: “Healthwatch visited Bournemouth Deaf Club a few months ago and our members suggested that they make a sign language video for Dorset. When you’re deaf it can be really difficult to get the information that you need – so it’s been great to work on a project that makes Healthwatch Dorset available to everyone”.

In 2015/16, 152 local Healthwatch engaged over 380,000 people to find out their views, visited more than 3,500 local services to find out if they are working for people, and published over 1,450 reports about what people want and need from health and care.

Joyce Guest, Healthwatch Dorset chairperson, said: “We’re delighted to have been shortlisted for this national award. The Healthwatch team work really hard to make our information clear, easy to understand & without any jargon, by working

with local communities. It’s a great achievement to have our work on accessible information celebrated in this way.”

Jane Mordue, Chair of Healthwatch England, said: “Once again, the Healthwatch network have highlighted the fantastic work that they do. The wide range of submissions, and the strength of those shortlisted, is testament to how the Healthwatch network is using people’s voices to make a difference to health and social care services.

“All of the submissions were of a very high standard, and I’d like to thank all who took part. I look forward to congratulating the winners on the 6th July!”

The final winner will be chosen by judges and announced on 6th July.

The award ceremony will see prizes being handed out across 7 categories. Over 150 entries were submitted, and the categories and shortlists are as follows:

Advice and Information

For the Healthwatch that have met the needs of their community in providing the public with accurate, reliable, relevant and useful information about local services, when they need it, in a format that meets their needs, and which has helped to make a difference locally.

Volunteering

For demonstrating the vital role that volunteers play in the success of local Healthwatch.

Engagement in service change

For effectively engaging with people in their community to improve the redesign of local services.

Local Healthwatch working together

For demonstration of collaboration between local Healthwatch that has led to change across Healthwatch boundaries.

Engagement in service improvement

For the local Healthwatch who has influenced local health and social care providers through evidence from the experiences of their local community, resulting in positive change.

The NICE better care award: Sponsored by the National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, this special award will celebrate the most outstanding example of

where a local Healthwatch has been able to help improve local health or care services by using NICE advice or guidance.

Diversity and Inclusion

For excellence in engaging and involving people from different backgrounds, seldom heard groups and those who experience accessibility issues.