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Healthwatch Barnet Volunteers Nominated for Barnet Civic Awards

Volunteers, Sue Blain and Stewart Block, local champions for improvements in GP appointment systems, have been nominated for a Barnet Civic Award. Sue and Stewart have been volunteer co-Chairs of the Healthwatch Barnet Primary Care Group (HWB PCG) since its inception in April 2013. Their achievements include an investigation into the appointment systems in GP surgeries that resulted in a 20-page report, The GP Appointment System: The Way Forward.

In the report, Sue and Stewart list twenty-five findings and recommendations that identify low-cost or no-cost ways to improve GP appointment systems. The report was presented to a Barnet Clinical Commissioning Group Board informal meeting, the Local Medical Committee and the Practice Managers Forum. They also led a discussion with Mike Freer, MP for Finchley and Golders Green, to highlight this as a local and national issue.

The report recommendations were summarised into a leaflet, which the CCG sent to all Practice Managers.

“Sue and Stewart have made an incredible contribution to the work of Healthwatch Barnet. They understand that it is local people and volunteers who understand best how services are used and can best convey this to professionals and motivate others to do the same. They have the interests of local people and patients at heart and they have always been generous in sharing their time and professional expertise. A lot of the work they do involves reviewing the systems, process or accessibility of a service, and so receives little public recognition. That’s why we are absolutely delighted they have been recognised in this way,” said Selina Rodrigues, former Head of Healthwatch Barnet.

The Barnet Civic Awards, now in its 15th year, is an opportunity for the borough to officially recognise the commitment and hard work of those who strive to make a positive difference to the lives of others. The award ceremony was held on Tuesday 17th March 2015 at Hendon Town Hall, The Burroughs, NW4 4AX, at 7:00 pm.