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Published: 1 April 2022

We scoop four awards for involving patients at Healthwatch Awards

Colleagues from Kent Community Health NHS Foundation Trust were recognised for their excellence in involving and listening to patients at the Healthwatch Awards on Wednesday (30 March).

The event, in its first year, celebrated the best in health and social care across the county with 200 guests brought together to recognise achievements at St Mary the Virgin Church, in Ashford.

KCHFT picked up four gongs for its Quality Account, listening to feedback to make changes to its vaccination centres, for giving trans and non-binary community a voice and for its work as part of the East Kent Health and Care Partnership engaging with patients to establish a new model for diabetes.

Every year, NHS providers must provide a Quality Account, which shows improvement in the service they deliver to local communities and stakeholders and must be shared with Healthwatch. The award was accepted by Chief Nurse Dr Mercia Spare and Head of Quality Management Victoria Stevens.

Robbie Goatham, from Healthwatch Kent, said: “We have seen many Quality Accounts during our 10 years and we are recognising only one. KCHFT’s Account stands out as by far the best we have seen. The rigid structure of a Quality Account can make it difficult for people to engage with it, but KCHFT’s is written with the public in mind and is accessible and understandable. There were clear measures of outcomes and the patient’s voice was present in lots of the priorities.”

our award winnersPart of the Kent and Medway Vaccination Team, KCHFT was recognised for its work with Healthwatch listening to patient feedback about the five large-scale vaccination sites including improving privacy, providing access to British Sign Language interpreters and community spoken languages on the video and telephone systems.

KCHFT was also recognised for establishing a successful patient group, working alongside partner organisations, such as Porchlight and Medway Gender Sexual Diversity Centre, to make sure it hears the voices of trans and non-binary communities.

Public Health Engagement and Partnership Manager, Juliette Wales, said: “This group has been instrumental in gathering feedback from patients within the trans and non-binary community, helping to raise awareness of their needs and drive positive change for the future, with support from KCHFT’s sexual health team. We are delighted to be recognised.”

Finally, members of KCHFT working within the East Kent Health and Care Partnership were commended for their work involving clinicians, commissioners, Healthwatch and the Paula Carr Diabetes Trust, with a clear aim to improve the Diabetes Service.

Healthwatch works with every single health and social care service in Kent and Medway and has a unique position listening to people’s feedback about services and helping them to navigate the system.

You can view the full brochure from the night here.