Healthwatch Birmingham achieves big at national patient experience awards
- Local health and care champion’s work to empower seldom heard groups awarded Runner Up at national awards.
- The organisation also achieved ‘Best in Class’, awarded the Healthwatch Organisation of the Year.
- There were over 85 shortlisted entries in this year’s Patient Experience Network National Awards.
Healthwatch Birmingham’s collaborative partnership working with third sector organisations to increase opportunities for citizens to shape and improve local health and social care services has been recognised nationally, awarded Runner Up at the Patient Experience Network National Awards (PENNA).
The Engaging and Championing the Public category featured NHS and community organisations using innovative best practice to engage patients or the public by listening harder to their needs and giving them a more active or involved role. PENNA are the first and only awards that recognise best practice in patient experience across all facets of health and social care nationally.
Healthwatch Birmingham’s commitment to empowering seldom heard groups through their Community Offer initiative has seen more accessible opportunities for local people to feedback about their care through familiar community settings. By recruiting and training Community Champion volunteers, who are also local volunteers with the partner community organisations, people feel more comfortable and willing to speak to their fellow citizens – people they can relate to.
As a result, Healthwatch Birmingham has improved its ability to listen in communities that may otherwise be reluctant to speak up. This includes hearing more from people living with mental health needs, carers, homeless people, refugees and asylum seekers, people living in poverty and offenders. More people’s experiences are also feeding into Healthwatch Birmingham’s work to influence improvement in health and social care for local people.
The award marks another achievement in a successful year for the independent champion, who have also been recognised at the national Healthwatch awards and achieved Investing in Volunteers accreditation.
Andy Cave, Chief Executive at Healthwatch Birmingham, accepted the award on the day: “The hard work and commitment of staff and volunteers continues to be recognised beyond our city. Achieving Runner Up at PENNA has enabled us to highlight the importance of working closely with communities and local people and the value it adds to improving NHS services.”
The PENNA conference took place on the 20th March 2019 at The Rep Birmingham. The full list of winners can be found here.