Healthwatch Shropshire, the health and social care champion for the people of Shropshire, has celebrated its 10th anniversary.
Staff and volunteers past and present, along with leading figures in health and social care, gathered to mark ten years of gathering patient and service users experiences to help improve services.
Mandy Thorn, High Sheriff of Shropshire and a former volunteer with the charity, attended the event, along with Rachel Robinson, director of public health for Shropshire, and Simon Whitehouse, Chief Executive Officer of Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin NHS.
The event celebrated how Healthwatch Shropshire has for 10 years raised the voice of patients and service users with NHS and social care leaders to help improve care.
Lynn Cawley, Healthwatch Shropshire Chief Officer, said:
“We are independent from the NHS and social care providers, and give people the opportunity to share their experiences of using health and social care services. We make sure that this valuable feedback reaches the powers that be and leads to positive change. We are very grateful to the more than 9,500 people who have shared their experiences with us over the last 10 years, and are pleased to have provided information and signposting to over 40,000 people.
“While thanking all of the dedicated staff and volunteers who have worked tirelessly during these years to champion the voice of Shropshire patients and service users, we were delighted to have the opportunity to mark this occasion by awarding ‘Healthwatch Hero’ awards to three people who have been pivotal in this work:
“Jane Randall-Smith, former Healthwatch Shropshire Chief Officer, for establishing the trusted brand that is Healthwatch Shropshire and laying the groundwork for its continued success.
“George Rook, former board member and active campaigner, for his passion and determination in highlighting the needs of people with dementia and their carers in Shropshire.
“Vanessa Barrett, one of our longest standing board members, for her dedicated service and support to Healthwatch Shropshire as both a volunteer and Chair of the Board.”
Healthwatch Shropshire is the independent health and social care champion in Shropshire. It gathers the views and experiences of patients, service users, carers, and the general public about services including hospitals, GPs, mental health services, community health services, pharmacists, opticians, residential care and children’s services. It also has statutory powers that it can use to influence service provision by encouraging improvements.