Last year we worked with Alzheimer’s Support and Wiltshire Care Partnership to understand and show how local organisations have used people’s views to make improvements to services and introduce more support groups across the county.
We won the ‘The impact we make with partners’ category at the Healthwatch Awards 2020, which were run by Healthwatch England last week.
This virtual event celebrated the difference Healthwatch teams across the country have made over the past year and Healthwatch Wiltshire was one of only three local Healthwatch to win an award, out of a total of 152 across England.
Julie Brown, Acting Healthwatch Wiltshire Manager, said:
"We’re absolutely delighted to win this award. We’ve been talking to people with dementia over a number of years and we’d like to thank them all for sharing their experiences with us and working with us to suggest what might improve their own lives and those of others.
"This award recognises the commitment of local organisations in Wiltshire to listen to people’s views and to work together to take action that improves people’s lives, and to let people know improvements they have made.
"We couldn’t have done this work without the participation of people with dementia, their carers and local organisations and so we accept this award on all of their behalf."
Babs Harris, CEO of Alzheimer's Support, said:
“This is richly deserved. Over the past few years Healthwatch Wiltshire has done so much to listen to people living with dementia and their carers in Wiltshire, helping them to find their voices and to access the support they needed. Their regular reports have helped us to plan and shape our own services across the county.
"Julie and her team show great empathy and understanding of the needs of people affected by dementia and they are always welcome visitors at our community groups and clubs.”
Jo Howes, CEO of Wiltshire Care Partnership, said:
"Care providers in Wiltshire are committed to making improvements in their services and we invest in this through training, personal development and awareness raising.
"It’s brilliant to be able to work with Healthwatch Wiltshire to understand how our services feel for people living with dementia and their families, and it helps us to keep focused on what people want and what works for them."
Cllr Simon Jacobs, Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care at Wiltshire Council, said:
“This national award recognises the dedication and commitment of everyone to make lives better for those with dementia. We know working together in this way provides the most effective support for those who need our help the most.
"A key part of this approach has been listening to those with dementia and their families so we can continually improve the service. Wiltshire led the way with the creation of the Wiltshire Dementia Strategy six years ago which is the basis for all the great work which continues to be done. Well done everyone.”
Sir Robert Francis QC, Chair of Healthwatch England, said:
“The judging panel were very impressed with the wide variety of stakeholders Healthwatch Wiltshire collaborated with on this project, ranging from established charities and council committees to dementia-friendly communities, day clubs and social groups.
“The project was also important because it showed people the real impact their feedback made. People continuing to share their experiences is key to the work of Healthwatch so thank you to all those who did this in Wiltshire and please do keep working with us to help make a difference."
Photo: Corsham Memory Shed, courtesy of Alzheimer's Support