Healthwatch Northamptonshire had plenty of reasons to celebrate at a national event.
The Healthwatch England Conference was held recently in Stratford upon Avon and was attended by all 152 local Healthwatch.
Healthwatch Northamptonshire came away with a number of awards, including highly commended for its work with Young Healthwatch in the volunteering category, highly commended for the ‘#ItStartsWithYou’ category and Healthwatch volunteer Sandra Bell was personally recognised for her work raising the issues around access to health and social care services for those with a hearing impairment.
Northamptonshire Healthwatch was also category winners for ‘Helping people have their say’ for the work they have done helping more than 500 new parents share their views and experiences of local maternity services.
Kate Holt, CEO of Healthwatch Northamptonshire, said: “It was with immense pride that I accepted the awards on behalf of our small team of dedicated staff and hardworking volunteers.
“We continually struggle with resources locally but this is national recognition for the work we do ensuring the voices of local people are in heard in Northamptonshire.”
Dr David N Jones, chairman of Healthwatch Northamptonshire, said: “Thank you to all the volunteers and staff of Healthwatch Northamptonshire, these three awards reflect your daily commitment to making things better for people who use health and social care services in Northamptonshire.
“This is a proud moment in difficult times.”
Healthwatch volunteer Sandra Bell said: “It is rewarding to be recognised for the work within this category.
“However, there is a very long way to go, particularly around health, before it becomes the norm for deaf and hard of hearing patients to be treated with the additional services they require and are entitled to under the Equalities Act, for example British Sign Language Signers being provided at appointments with any health care professionals.
“Healthwatch Northamptonshire remains vigilant around these and many other issues.”