#ItStartsWithYou campaign launches in Torbay

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(Last Updated On: July 5, 2018)

#ItStartsWithYou campaign launches in Torbay as NHS hits 70

Marking the 70th birthday of the National Health Service, Healthwatch Torbay has released its latest Annual Report alongside launching a campaign to encourage people to share their experiences and help make healthcare better.

The #ItStartsWithYou campaign encourages people to have their say as well as highlighting the difference that people can make to health and social care services by sharing their experiences.

Meanwhile, Healthwatch Torbay’s Annual Report celebrates the dedication of local people using their voice to make a difference to the care of others, including special awards given this year, such as:

  • A Torquay resident who worked ‘tirelessly’ to gather the views of particularly vulnerable members of the public and to raise these concerns with Healthwatch Torbay. Her work led to a Care Quality Commission (CQC) investigation into a local domiciliary care company.
  • Baytree Action Group, a group of Torbay parents and carers of loved ones with learning disabilities who worked with Healthwatch Torbay, local health trusts and carers to ensure they were part of a consultation on the potential closure of a learning disabilities unit.
  • A Paignton volunteer who recruited numerous Healthwatch ‘Champions’ this year to gather local healthcare views from the public. He dedicated the award to his late wife, who passed away earlier in the year and encouraged him to volunteer.

In recognition of these dedicated individuals and groups, together with the many thousands more who have contributed over the last year nationally, the #ItStartsWithYou, campaign is designed to highlight the difference people can make and to encourage more people to have their say on health and care.

Healthwatch Torbay’s 2018 Annual Report also details how they have met with hundreds of people at over 50 community events to gather over 650 reviews of local services and over 220 public enquiries, issues or concerns.

Dr Kevin Dixon, Chair of Healthwatch Torbay, adds:

‘When the NHS launched in July 1948 it was the climax of an ambitious plan to bring together lots of different health and care organisations to provide good healthcare to all members of the community.

It is a testament to this plan that 70 years later its ideals continue, in that we work with service users, patients, carers, staff and lots of different healthcare organisations who are all just as dedicated to making the Bay’s health and care provision as good as it can be.’

If you’d like to raise any concerns or share your experiences of local health and social care services, please call free on 08000 520 029, email info@healthwatchtorbay.org.uk, or visit www.healthwatchtorbay.org.uk to rate and review a service in confidence online. You can also visit Healthwatch Torbay in person during the week, upstairs at Paignton Library.

URL Link to latest Annual Report: https://healthwatchtorbay.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2014/03/FINAL-DRAFT-HWT_Annual-Report.pdf

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(Author)

Apart from five years studying in Oxford I’ve lived most of my life in London where for many years I was Head of English in a prestigious girls’ school, but since taking early retirement and heading West to be nearer to my two daughters - settling in Torbay with my wife, Anna, in 2011 - I’ve worked in the voluntary sector. I took on the role of Service Provider, for example, promoting the Red Cross Torbay Navigators Project, while now I’m a Trustee and part of the Media Team for our local Healthwatch. I’m a governor at Torquay Academy, too, giving me the chance to stay up to date with what’s happening in the world of education. Other interests, aside from friends and family, include art and art history, reading - from contemporary fiction and poetry to Elizabethan/Jacobean literature - history, politics, cooking, walking, and music, in particular Bob Dylan, the blues, and early Elvis. I love writing, too, with one novel published so far – Elvis in Wonderland – and another, Who’s There?, that still needs plenty of work!