Bucks Healthwatch volunteer recognised as 'outstanding individual' at national awards

Mike Etkind
Mike Etkind

Healthwatch Bucks has been recognised as ‘highly commended’ in this year’s Healthwatch Network Awards in the ‘Outstanding individuals who’ve made a difference’ category.

The winner and the highly commended from each category were chosen by a panel of external judges and announced last night at the Healthwatch England Annual Conference on 1 October 2019.

The awards recognise how people’s feedback is vital to improving services and celebrate the many positive stories of how the local Healthwatch network is helping to make care better for thousands of people.

The recognition for Healthwatch Bucks was received after volunteer Mike Etkind reviewed health and social care leaflets intended for public consumption. He found that less than 10% of them were easy to read. Subsequently, Mike's recommendations to improve their readability were received by all service providers.

Thalia Jervis, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Bucks said:

“We are really pleased that providers are taking action as a result of Mike’s hard work as a volunteer for Healthwatch Bucks. When people are given advice about how to look after themselves, it needs to be easy to read and understand.

“This shows how Healthwatch Bucks makes a difference to the way health and social care is delivered. We depend on people’s feedback to help us do that – so do get in touch with us and give us your views on health and social care in Bucks.”

Every year, the Healthwatch Network Awards are an opportunity to demonstrate where local Healthwatch worked within the local community to make sure health and social care services meet people's needs.

Healthwatch listen to what people like about the NHS and social care and what needs to be improved. Their views are shared with health and care professionals, so that services can understand what people and their families want from care.

The many hundreds of thousands of people who shared their experiences with Healthwatch last year led to positive changes to the way local health and care services are run.

The local Healthwatch shortlisted for 2019 Healthwatch Network Awards were picked from almost 150 award entries.