Healthwatch Essex Shortlisted for Prestigious National Award

Healthwatch Essex has been nominated for a prestigious national award for COVID-19 Response following a campaign to help raise awareness of the challenges facing people with sensory impairment across Essex during the pandemic.

Healthwatch Essex was shortlisted for the award as part of the Healthwatch Awards 2021, which are run by Healthwatch England. This annual event celebrates the difference Healthwatch’s 4,000 plus staff and volunteers across England have made over the past year. Healthwatch Essex is one of only 30 local Healthwatch out of a total of 152 across England to be in the running for one of the awards.

Healthwatch Essex will find out whether its award bid has been successful during Healthwatch Week, which runs from Tuesday 9 November 2021.

Samantha Glover, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Essex, said: “This campaign was important to us, because it aimed to tackle the reports we were receiving of people with sensory impairment receiving abuse when they were unable to follow COVID-19 restrictions, because they couldn’t see signage or understand people through masks. The campaign was produced with people who are blind, deaf and deafblind and reached 40,000 people across Essex. It aimed to promote awareness, tolerance and kindness, by giving people insight into the experiences of the sensory impaired community during the pandemic.

“We are so pleased that this work has been recognised at a national level as an important contribution to supporting our communities in Essex during the pandemic.”

Sir Robert Francis QC, Chair of Healthwatch England, said:

“This year once again the standard of entries for the Healthwatch Week awards was extremely high. Your local Healthwatch has been shortlisted because of excellent work which has really benefited your community.

“I am extremely proud of the inspiring dedication shown by our staff and volunteers to making a real difference for your community, whether that be by reaching out to those whose views are not being heard, helping people find the support they need or making sure NHS and social care services act on the improvements that you want to see.”

Like their colleagues across the country, Healthwatch Essex staff and volunteers have been supporting their local community more than ever through the coronavirus pandemic by:

  • Finding out what people like about health and social care support, and what could be improved
  • Helping people find the information they need about services in their area and;
  • Encouraging those in charge of NHS and social care services to make the changes that communities would like to see.

The campaign film can be seen below.