NHS health inequality champion wins national award

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Richard Watson, Health Inequalities Programme Manager at NHS Hastings and Rother Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), has been recognised for his tireless work to improve the lives of disadvantaged residents of Hastings and Rother by winning a national award in collaborative working at the UK Public Health Register innovation awards 2018.

Richard has led the Healthy Hastings and Rother programme, which was set up by NHS Hastings and Rother CCG to reduce health inequalities of people living in the most disadvantaged communities in the areas, since its inception in 2014. Through close working with partner organisations including  East Sussex County Council, Hastings Borough Council, Rother District Council, East Sussex Healthcare NHS Trust and the voluntary and community sector it aims to tackle long-standing problems of relative poor health in Hastings and Rother, by improving local services and supporting people to live healthy and happy lives.

“Congratulations to Richard for winning this prestigious award,” said David Warden, Chair of Hastings and Rother CCG. “Through close collaboration between partner organisations the Healthy Hastings and Rother programme is making a real difference to the most disadvantaged residents of these areas and it’s great to get some national recognition for this.” 

Some recent examples of the work done by the Healthy Hastings and Rother programme are:

  • Recruited and trained approximately 100 volunteers to improve residents’ awareness, early diagnosis and treatment of cancer.

  • Supported community pharmacies to increase access to health and wellbeing services, self-care advice and support for people with long term conditions, including sign posting to other local NHS and community services.

  • Launched a Safe Space for vulnerable young people in the Hastings night-time economy, where they can access support, advice and first aid. This project was shortlisted for the HSJ Award for Community or Primary Care Services Redesign for London and the South.

  • Launched an out of hours Staying Well Space in St Leonards for adults experiencing mental health problems to de-escalate issues, prevent crisis and reduce hospital attendance.

  • Launched a co-investment programme with Hastings Borough Council, Optivo and Orbit housing associations which includes support for young people and their families, adults on low incomes and / or living with long term conditions.

  • Worked with the Department of Education, through the Hastings Opportunity Area, to enhance access to promote and protect children, young people and families’ mental health and wellbeing and parenting support. 
For further information about Healthy Hastings and Rother visit their webpage.

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