Healthwatch Bristol Patient Champion takes local views to heart of Westminster

On Monday, representatives from Healthwatch Bristol traveled to London to join forces with more than 100 fellow local Healthwatch organisations at our annual parliamentary reception.
Group of winners from the 2019 Healthwatch network awards

Attended by parliamentarians, as well as key decision makers from across health and social care, the event provided an opportunity for us to speak with Darren Jones, Kerry McCarthy and Karin Smyth about the work we have been doing to shape local services on behalf of Bristol residents, including:

  • Raising awareness of prostate cancer amongst BAME men in partnership with local community group Friends of Caswell Thompson and Public Health Bristol
  • A year long project looking at the mental health needs of Bristol residents, which included a survey on emotional health and wellbeing
  • Working in collaboration with North Bristol NHS Trust, Macmillan Cancer Support and Cancer Research UK to raise awareness of the importance of breast health amongst BAME women in Bristol

With local health and social care services going through rapid change, with the launch of the NHS Long Term Plan, it has never been more important for services to involve the people they serve in shaping the future of health and social care.

The good news is that Healthwatch is getting more people to come forward to share their views on the issues in their areas. When acted upon by commissioners, care providers and clinicians, people’s experiences and ideas are leading to safer, better quality care. In this way people are where they should be – at the centre of their service.

“Healthwatch Bristol plays a vital role as the champion of patients in Bristol, giving people the chance to air their views about the NHS services and care we receive. I regularly speak with Healthwatch Bristol, but it was good to meet them in Westminster to discuss the work they are doing to influence the future of health services in Bristol.”

Darren Jones, Labour MP for Bristol North West said

“It was a great opportunity to attend Parliament and highlight our hard work locally to parliamentarians, especially our own MPs, Darren Jones, Kerry McCarthy and Karin Smyth. The efforts of our dedicated team of staff and volunteers at helping to influence the way health and social care services are delivered in Bristol were praised by all we met, particularly by Healthwatch England.”

Sarah Ambe, Healthwatch Bristol manager

Held in the Houses of Parliament, the reception was hosted by national body Healthwatch England to mark the launch of its sixth annual report.

To read more about what Healthwatch England and the rest of the network have achieved over the last year see the annual report.

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