Healthwatch Birmingham’s work to empower seldom heard groups shortlisted for national award
- Birmingham champion is the only Healthwatch shortlisted in the national patient experience awards.
- Award recognises the our work with community organisations to champion local people’s experiences of NHS and social care services.
- There are 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, shortlisted at the Patient Experience Network National Awards (PENNA).
Through our Community Offer initiative, Birmingham people, including those from seldom heard groups, have more accessible opportunities 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 our 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. There has been a 40% increase in the quality feedback being heard, with more people’s experiences feeding into our work to influence improvement in health and social care for local people.
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 has been nominated in the Engaging and Championing the Public category, which recognises the innovative ways organisations engage patients or the public by listening harder to their needs or giving them a more active or involved role.
Andy Cave, Chief Executive, said:
“We are delighted that this collaborative Community Offer initiative has been recognised. Our ability to listen effectively, and innovatively, is key to championing the views and needs of such a diverse population. We wanted to increase the amount of local people’s quality, lived experiences which are being used by health and social care services to improve services. By working with community organisations to increase capacity and build upon the knowledge and passion of local people, we are now hearing more from seldom heard groups about the quality of care they receive and whether their needs are being met.”
The overall winner from each category will be announced at the Patient Experience Network National Awards Conference on the 20th March 2019 at The Rep Theatre, Birmingham.