Award-winning Information Team take their 5000th call

The Information Team at Healthwatch Essex hit the headlines earlier this year when they were named the best in the country by Healthwatch England at their national conference. Now they are celebrating again, having logged their 5000th contact since they were first set up.

Healthwatch Essex is an independent charity that was set up four and half years ago to listen to and represent the voice of users of health and social care in Essex. There are 152 Healthwatch organisations across the country, but only one that scooped the national Information and Advice award.

Moreover, few others take the volumes of calls that the Healthwatch Essex Information Team handle.  The information service helps people access, understand, and navigate the health and social care system. “We know it’s not always clear where to go for information about health and social care services, so our confidential telephone information line is really important to a lot of Essex residents,” said Dr David Sollis, Chief Executive at Healthwatch Essex.

“Our Information Team provide a truly exceptional service, handling all sorts of calls from members of the public, from how to register with a GP, where to find local dementia services or residential care and how to make a complaint about a health or care service.

“However, in some instances calls might take an hour or more and involve us signposting to numerous agencies and researching all sorts of issues for people. In some cases, we may have to involve safeguarding services if we perceive someone may be at risk, so our staff are highly trained and skilled to deal with all eventualities.”

More and more the Information Team has noticed an uplift in the number of professionals calling the service too for help and advice. The health and care system is notoriously complicated, so many people working in the field will use the service to find information.

If you would like to speak to the Information Team, call them on 0300 500 1895 for the cost of a local call, or email them at [email protected]