We are here to support, promote and develop voluntary and community action in Middlesbrough

It’s Nice to be Nice

I was browsing through my Facebook page recently and came across a heart-warming story about a local bus driver. A school girl had missed her bus, but the bus driver noticed her in his mirror as he was pulling out. Unable to stop, he drove around the block and picked her up on the second time around. The passengers gave him a round of applause and organised a whip round.

In the subsequent comments on the post, someone posted that as a nation we are very quick to complain, but often fail to compliment when and where necessary. How very true I thought, especially in my role as a Community Engagement Officer for Healthwatch. The main purpose of my role is listen to people’s experiences of Health and Social Care Services, whether they be good or bad. However, I do find that people find it very easy to focus on the negative without recognising the positive.

My faith in human nature however was recently restored whilst carrying out some work on services supporting those with vision loss. We became aware of a valuable service, the Eye Clinic Liaison Officer, who providers emotional support and advice for those with a diagnosis of sight loss. The feedback we received from patients, families and other health professionals was outstanding.

As a Healthwatch we think it is important to share good practice - learning from the best can only help to improve services. To this end, we have introduced the Healthwatch South Tees Award of Recognition (STAR Award). Our very first recipient is Angela Bedingfield, the Eye Clinic Liaison Officer at James Cook University Hospital. The Award recognises Angela’s continued care and support for those with sight loss. From the comments we received, Angela certainly deserves it and was delighted to receive it.

I’m sure our health and social care professionals are not looking for a constant pat on the back, but in our present climate and increasing financial pressures, recognition for a job well done could make all the difference.

Please remember if you feel someone has gone above and beyond to help you and has made a difference, please speak up. Either let them know or your local Healthwatch – you won’t just be brightening their day but they could be the next recipient of our STAR Award!

Linda Sergeant

Community Engagement Officer (Healthwatch South Tees)

Email: linda.sergeant@healthwatchsouthtees.org.uk