• Local health champion is shortlisted for ‘The Impact Our Team Makes’ and ‘Celebrating Our Volunteer Team’ in major national awards scheme

  • Shortlisting recognises Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire’s teams and volunteers for the contribution they made to the Festival for Older People 2019, an annual event celebrating older people’s contribution to the community and bringing together the organisations delivering health and social care services to them; and the young volunteers visit to Bedford Hospital, following the 15 steps programme – young volunteers, visiting children’s wards to identify improvements patients would like to see.

Award shortlisting

Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire has been nominated for two prestigious national awards for their work on the Festival for Older People 2019, which has helped bring together organisations delivering health and social care services and celebrating older people’s contribution across Central Bedfordshire; and for the work the young volunteers undertook at Bedford Hospital, visiting children’s wards to identify improvements patients would like to see, following the 15 steps programme.

Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire was shortlisted under the ‘The Impact Our Team Makes’ and ‘Celebrating Our Volunteer Team’ categories in the Healthwatch Awards 2020, which are run by Healthwatch England.

This annual event – which this year is taking place virtually due to the pandemic – celebrates the difference Healthwatch’s 4,400 staff and volunteers have made over the past year. Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire is one of only 30 local Healthwatch out of a total of 152 across England to be in the running for one of the awards.

Like their colleagues across the country, Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire staff and volunteers have been supporting their local community more than ever through the pandemic by:

  • Finding out what people like about health and social care support, and what could be improved
  • Helping people find the information they need about services in their area and;
  • Encouraging those in charge of NHS and social care services to make the changes that communities would like to see.

In addition, the team at Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire have also been aware that the right information, at the right time, was key for many people to help support and guide them during the pandemic. It was clear that support was needed, and Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire was able to help and assist as and when required. This could be general signposting to specialised support services or supporting an individual on a one to one basis.

Other shortlisted nominations from around the country to the Healthwatch Awards include:

  • Healthwatch Leeds – for helping to improve access to mental health crisis support.
  • Healthwatch Camden – for research with other organisations to understand the social infrastructure used by older Bangladeshi residents.
  • Healthwatch Surrey – for volunteers who helped improve the way a local NHS hospital reports incidents of poor care that have led to severe harm or death.

The overall winner from each category will be chosen by a panel of judges and announced during Healthwatch Week, which runs from Monday 2 November 2020.

Diana Blackmun, Chief Executive Officer of Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire, said:

“We are delighted to be shortlisted for Healthwatch England Awards in two categories, which recognises the work Healthwatch Central Bedfordshire staff and volunteers have carried out to support our local community and to help them have a voice”.

Sir Robert Francis QC, Chair of Healthwatch England, said:

“I never stop being inspired by the dedication of local Healthwatch staff to making care better for their communities.

“Whether reaching out to those whose views are not being heard, helping people to find the support they need or making sure NHS and social care services act on the improvements that the public want to see, the award entries highlight the difference local Healthwatch make.

“I would like to congratulate everyone who has been shortlisted. They have done their communities proud.”

The overall winner from each category will be chosen by a panel of judges and announced during Healthwatch Week, which runs from Monday 2 November 2020.

More information about the shortlist can be found here on the Healthwatch England website.