Healthwatch Essex Shortlisted For Impact Awards 2023

We are delighted to share that we have been shortlisted for a national award for our work helping to improve care for local people who have been affected by trauma.

The National Healthwatch Impact Award recognises outstanding examples of where the views of local people have been used to make positive changes to local NHS and social care services. We have been shortlisted for our Trauma Card project, which is a tool to help trauma survivors when traumatic memories are triggered.

Our Trauma Ambassador Group have all experienced some kind of trauma which can make it difficult to access health and care services. After discussing their experiences of ‘shutting down’ in appointments, they wanted to create a tool to help other trauma survivors have better communication with health professionals. They decided to co-produce a card that people experiencing the effects of trauma could hand to a professional that would outline the support they needed. Our Trauma Ambassadors were involved with the Trauma Cards every step of the way, from the initial idea, to design and promotion (including starring in this video).

Feedback has shown that the cards were greatly needed – not just in those healthcare settings discussed initially such as doctors and dentists, but also in schools, court and during cervical screenings. The cards have since been commissioned in other areas, including for asylum seekers in Essex.

After hearing the Trauma Cards were shortlisted, Sharon Westfield-de-Cortez, Information and Guidance Manager at Healthwatch Essex said:

“The trauma card being shortlisted for an award is testimony to the dedication and determination of the Healthwatch Essex Trauma Ambassador Group to improve outcomes for individuals living with the long-term effects of trauma. I am delighted that its value has been recognised and hope that this adds to the level of awareness of the impact of trauma in our people and communities.”

Trauma Ambassador John, showing the front of the card

Eighteen projects from across England are in the running for the National Healthwatch Impact Award. The annual award highlights outstanding examples of where the views and experiences of local people has been used by their local Healthwatch to make care better. To celebrate 10 years of Healthwatch, this year’s award focuses on the most impactful projects from the past decade across the network of 150 local Healthwatch. The winner will be announced in March 2024.

Commenting on the shortlist, Louise Ansari, Chief Executive of Healthwatch England, said:

“Over a million people a year either seek advice from Healthwatch or share their care experience. And, every year, there are thousands of examples of where this feedback has been used by services to make positive changes to health and care.

“Getting shortlisted for our national impact award is no mean feat. It means that your work has made a real difference for local communities, often amid ongoing challenges facing health and care services.”