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Healthwatch Sheffield: Championing local health & social care for the people

by Now Then Sheffield
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Healthwatch Sheffield is the independent champion for people using local health and social care services. We listen to what people like about services and what could be improved, then we share their views with those with the power to make change happen. In 2019 we have heard from over 3,000 people in Sheffield.

One of our focussed pieces of work this year was around the experiences of health and care in Sheffield's trans community. In March we published a report which captured the findings of our work with local groups, SAYiT and Transactive, to listen to the experiences of trans and non-binary young people and adults. On publishing the report we said:

"Everyone involved in the NHS and social care must consider whether they are providing care to trans and non-binary people on an equal footing to people who are cisgender. NHS and social care providers have a duty to ensure that transphobia is not tolerated.

"We've made recommendations to commissioners and providers based on what the people we spoke to told us. Doing nothing is not an option. We hope that by listening to the views of trans people things will begin to change for Sheffield's trans and non-binary community."

We are particularly proud of our #SpeakUp grants programme. This programme was designed to enable local organisations and community groups to gather views and experiences from Sheffield residents, especially from those who do not traditionally have a voice. The aim was to ensure that health and social care decision makers in the city heard from a diverse range of people about their experiences. In total, 11 organisations gathered the views of around 604 people. In addition, over 300 people took part in the Missing Millions event organised by Sheffield ME & Fibromyalgia Group, with over 20,000 people having accessed the film they made of the event.

The organisations have heard from a very diverse range of people, including asylum seekers and refugees, people from the BAMER (Black, Asian, Minority Ethnic and Refugee) community, people with learning disabilities and their families and carers, mums with English as a second language, trans young people and others from the LGBT+ community, local residents in North Sheffield, people with eating disorders, their families and friends, young people and school age pupils, some with mental ill health, and those affected by ME and Fibromyalgia.

In 2020 we hope to widen our reach and hear from an even greater number of people, as well as a more diverse range of seldom-heard groups. The more people who share their story with us, the greater the impact when seeking to affect change.

Find out more about Healthwatch here.

Lucy Davies

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by Now Then Sheffield

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