After reviewing almost 150 entries, Healthwatch England has announced the finalists for the Healthwatch Network Awards 2019.
Healthwatch Northamptonshire has been nominated for an award in the ‘Helping more people to have their say’ category for their work gathering the views and experiences from the local Armed Forces community.
Healthwatch Northamptonshire surveyed over 450 members of the Armed Forces Community in the county (which includes people serving in the Armed Forces as regulars or reservists, volunteers, ex-forces members (veterans) and family members of past and present service personnel veterans) on behalf of the Armed Forces Covenant Northamptonshire and found:
- A third of veterans said they found it difficult to access GP and mental health services
- A fifth of veterans thought they had a mental health need relating to their military service, such as Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- A quarter of veterans said they had a physical need relating to military service, such as arthritis
Healthwatch Northamptonshire has recommended greater awareness of the Armed Forces Covenant, which is in place to make sure that veterans do not feel at a disadvantage. Services should have specific and timely support to meet the mental health needs of veterans and help with the preparation for transition to civilian life. These recommendations will be addressed through the Northamptonshire Armed Forces Covenant Partnership of organisations from across the county who work closely together to ensure the Covenant aims are upheld.
Every year, the Healthwatch Network awards celebrate positive stories of how local Healthwatch are helping to make care better for thousands of people. The Healthwatch Network Awards are an opportunity to demonstrate where local Healthwatch have gone above and beyond, to make sure health and social care services meet everybody’s needs.
The ‘Helping more people to have their say’ award recognises Healthwatch who have used people’s views to make tangible improvements to local health and social care services.
Healthwatch across the country listen to what people like about the NHS and social care and what could be changed. They share these views with professionals, so that services can understand what people and their families want from care.
These awards recognise the importance of how people’s feedback is vital. Thanks to the 406,000 people who shared their experiences with Healthwatch nationally last year, positive changes have been made to how local health and care services are run.
The local Healthwatch shortlisted for 2019 Healthwatch Network Awards were picked from almost 150 award entries.
The winner from each category will be chosen by a panel of external judges and announced at the Healthwatch England Annual Conference on 1 October 2019.
Kate Holt, CEO of Healthwatch Northamptonshire said, “We are very pleased that our work gathering the views of our local Armed Forces is being recognised nationally with this award nomination.
“I’d like to thank everyone who contributed to the Armed Forces survey, your views and experiences are important for improving the lives of those who are currently serving, have served or have family who are serving. Please visit our website, www.healthwatchnorthamptonshire.co.uk, to keep updated on our projects and how you can share your views”
Deirdre Newham MBE JP DL, Chair of the Armed Forces Covenant Partnership said: “We are delighted that Healthwatch Northamptonshire have been nominated for this award supporting our Armed Forces Community. We hope that the research undertaken will enable us to continue to work across partnerships supporting our veterans in the areas that they need it most.”
Jacob Lant, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at Healthwatch England said, “The Healthwatch Network Awards are a fantastic opportunity to celebrate the difference local Healthwatch have made across the country.
“This year we received some outstanding entries from the network, which has made the shortlisting even more challenging. We have been very impressed by the quality and incredible range of work on show.
“These entries highlight the real impact we can have when people come forward and tell us about their experiences. Healthwatch can only make a difference when people speak up and help services understand what is working and what is not.”
The full survey report can be read at http://www.healthwatchnorthamptonshire.co.uk/armedforcesreport
Northamptonshire Armed Forces Covenant Partnership: www.afcnorthamptonshire.co.uk