It was fantastic to see familiar and new faces join us for our first in-person Annual Event for a few years. Please see a message from Healthwatch County Durham Project Lead, Gail McGee:
A huge thank you, on behalf of all at Healthwatch County Durham, to everyone who attended our Annual Event on April 19th. This was our first Annual Event in person since pre-pandemic, and it was lovely to see real people in the room!
After a welcome and opening from our Board Chair, Chris Cunnington-Shore, our first speaker was Noel Scanlon, Executive Director of Nursing. Noel talked frankly about the review and improvements made to the CDDFT Wig Service, changes implemented to improve the Patient Property Process which will be reviewed in July, and also talked about issues highlighted in the Discharge Lounge. This is an area HWCD are working on currently, and we will be sharing our findings and recommendations with the Trust.
We then heard from Jean Ross, a HWCD volunteer, who talked passionately about some of the issues she has encountered within health & social care.
Claire Sisterson, our Volunteer Support Lead, presented our ‘So Here’s the Thing’ project about Young People’s mental health. The viewing of Adam’s story was very moving and had a big impact on our audience, and it was inspiring to hear Mia’s message about why the project was important. And the level of importance was reflected in our feedback, with mental health topping the audience suggestions of areas we should focus on this year.
The speakers were rounded off by Rachael Mawston, our HWCD commissioner, who talked about the Healthwatch England objectives, and how we will work together with the local authority over the coming year to achieve outcomes for the local population. And finally, Gail McGee, HWCD Project Lead, who outlined some of the priorities we will be working on and explained how we decide on those priorities.
The day was a good mix of celebrating achievement and looking forwards, with a great quiz in the middle with some very interesting facts thrown in. And of course some anniversary freebies and cupcakes – I hope everyone managed to get one, as the consensus was that they were amazing.
We will be looking at all of your feedback and suggestions, and these will help to inform our planning for the 2024 event. If you had comments you didn’t manage to leave on the day, please email firstname.lastname@example.org