Healthwatch Sunderland is your local health and social care champion. We listen to what you tell us about your experience, what needs to be improved and what you want for the future.

We are independent, so people trust us and tell us what they think. We hear from people about NHS and social care services, so we’re uniquely placed to understand what is happening. This means NHS leaders and other decision-makers take notice of what we say. They know we’ll collaborate with them to find solutions, they can talk to us openly, and we encourage them to involve the public in making services the best they can be.

Reaching out to our community

We strive to make sure we hear from a wide range of our diverse community as possible.  We want to tell the people who make decisions and change things about the experiences everyone has with health and care services.

We understand that factors such as culture, location, wealth and education, environment and discrimination can lead to worse health outcome, and we support the strong consensus that this must change.  We stand ready to help by doing more to amplify the voices of communities to go unheard and reduce the barriers they face.

Below is a collection of case studies highlighting some of the work we have carried out using the feedback we have collected from the local community which has helped us to make a positive impact to local and national services.

Image of a group of the Lions Club Charity Message in a bottles

Supporting local people in emergency situations

As part of our signposting service we give local people, who will benefit, a Lion’s Club Charity, Message in a Bottle.  The impact of this has been great.

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Support for new amputee community group

How we have showcased the power of partnership work through the promotion of a support group for those who have had a surgical amputation.

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Supporting Hospital Trust to gather patient feedback

How we are supporting the Hospital Trust to hear what patients think of their services.

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Organ donation event

Through our Organ Donation Campaign and event we aimed to get people talking to their loves ones about organ donation, having open conversations, so if families are asked about donation of a loved ones organs, they know that persons wishes and are more equipped to honour those wishes.

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Easy read breast screening recall letters now available for all patients who require them nationally

We demonstrate how self-advocacy works in joint appeal for easy access to breast services.

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Women at a Healthwatch event

Helping to raise awareness of cancer signs and symptoms within the local BAME community

Members from the Bangladeshi community told us that the subject of cancer was something that wasn’t often talked about within the community and many people had very little awareness of cancer signs and symptoms.

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Supporting the hospital to improve stays for patients from the Bangladeshi community

Our work with the local Hospital Trust has helped them to better understand the needs of patients from the Bangladeshi community, address some of the communication issues they face and ultimately improve the treatment and care of patients in general.

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Two women sitting smiling at the camera

Improving access to baby formula for those families in need

Thanks to feedback from a local charity who supports those families most in need we were able to support services to introduce emergency provisions plan to address the issue.

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Healthwatch Sunderland event

Making social care services more culturally inclusive

Our partnership work has helped local social care service providers adapt services to better meet the needs of its customers.

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Helping to improve hospital visits for kinship carers and those they care for

Our work with the Hospital Trust is helping to raise awareness of what a kinship carer is with staff which has resulted in a better patient experience for those children visiting the service.

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