We won’t find out if we’ve won until November, but we’re delighted to have been recognised for our work, in partnership with the Kent Physical Disability Forum, to improve the wheelchair service in Kent.
We've have been working alongside the Kent Physical Disability Forum to gather feedback about the wheelchair service in Kent and escalate our collective concerns to the organisations that commission and provide the service, but also to the Kent Health Overview Scrutiny Committee.
Thanks to our work, the following improvements have been made:
- Over £500,000 additional funding has been invested to reduce the number of people waiting for assessments
- Waiting times have reduced
- Saturday clinics have been introduced to reduce waiting times and increase flexibility
- Feedback from people who use a wheelchair is now actively gathered, listened to and acted upon.
- Wheelchair users are working directly with the service
- The wheelchair service created a new engagement post and employed a wheelchair user
- A new Service Improvement Board, involving wheelchair users, has been set up to review progress and delivery of the Improvement Plan.
- More clinical and support staff recruited.
- Several public events hosted to meet service users face to face and gather feedback.
- A new website has been created to make it easier for local people to see local information.
- Commissioners and decision makers are now aware of all the issues and able to tackle them.
We've been shortlisted under the ‘The impact our team makes’ category in the Healthwatch Awards 2020, which are run by Healthwatch England.
This annual event – which this year is taking place virtually due to the pandemic - celebrates the difference Healthwatch’s 4,400 staff and volunteers have made over the past year. We're one of only 30 local Healthwatch out of a total of 152 across England to be in the running for one of the awards.
The overall winner from each category will be chosen by a panel of judges and announced during Healthwatch Week, which runs from Monday 2 November.