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Celebrating ten years of people speaking up to make care better

Published on
March 31, 2023
Celebrating ten years of people speaking up to make care better

Your local health and care champion, Healthwatch Derbyshire marks the difference the public have made to improve NHS and social care services.

In 2013, Healthwatch Derbyshire was launched with one simple aim, to make sure NHS leaders and other decision-makers hear the care experiences of people in Derbyshire and use your feedback to improve support. We also help people to find reliable and trustworthy information and advice.

Over the last decade, thousands of people in Derbyshire have shared their stories, good and bad, with us, telling us what’s working and what isn’t regarding health and social care. With the help of local people, we have been able to help improve health and social care services and create change, for all in Derbyshire.

To mark this important milestone, we are celebrating the contribution of our Healthwatch Heroes – YOU, the members of the public who have spoken up about your care, and the health and social care professionals who have acted on this feedback.

The difference people in Derbyshire have made

The evidence provided by local people’s experiences has helped improve NHS and social care services nationally and locally. For example, last year the Healthwatch network across the UK supported more than two million people to have their say on care and get the right advice.

Here are just some of the ways people helped make a difference in 2021-22:

  • Following your calls about there being a lack of NHS dentists in Derbyshire, we continued conversations with dental commissioners and decision makers to try to influence positive change. Where there was no information on the Find a Dentist website, our team, and volunteers made calls to practices to understand the individual practice’s current position in  terms of accepting new patients. Since looking into the issue, we’ve started to see improvements to NHS ‘Find a Dentist’ website, meaning people can make better informed decisions.
  • Healthwatch Derbyshire research looking into how people access their GP surgery since the pandemic helped us to find out what was working for you, and what could be made better. We’re now offering the chance for GPs to work with us, to make accessing care from your GP surgery easier and more beneficial to you.
  • Public feedback helped highlight the negative impact poor NHS admin can have and recommended five principles for services to improve people’s experiences.
  • After Healthwatch and other organisations called for an urgent response to hospital waiting lists, and better interim communication and support, the NHS set out a recovery plan to address the backlog.
  • Healthwatch uncovered that only a third of NHS Trusts fully comply with their duty to help patients with sensory impairments and learning disabilities, which has helped lead to a national review of the Accessible Information Standard.

More people urged to get involved

Commenting on the anniversary, Helen Henderson, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Derbyshire said:

"Over the last ten years, we’ve been able to help improve health and social care services for people in Derbyshire. But nothing would have changed if local people had not spoken up about their care, and services had not listened. So thank you to everyone who has played their part.

However, we can’t stop here. With NHS and social care services facing such big challenges, your feedback is more critical than ever. By sharing your experience, you can help professionals to put themselves in your shoes, to understand your reality and the issues that need tackling to improve care.

So next time you use a health or care service, take a moment to share your experience. It won’t take long and could make a real difference in making care better for you and your community."

Be a Healthwatch Hero and have your say today.

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