Healthwatch Darlington's Annual Report 2019/20

Find out more about our highlights from 2019/20, our dedicated volunteers, how we have made a difference and our plans for the coming months.
Annual report


We have acted upon the views of service users using bereavement services, listened to families and young people making sure we understand what they want from local services to support their mental well being, explored the experiences of those when discharged from hospital, shared information with 1000's and conducted a regional engagement campaign to hear 'What would you do' to improve your NHS services in the future. We have had the pleasure of working with a dedicated team of volunteers who have enabled us to reach out to more service users than ever before in 2019/20.

“Thank you for all your hard work sharing information and making people aware in our community about all of the available resources that there is out there to support them – you are doing a fantastic job!”
— Darlington Resident

Future plans for 2020/21

We have had to quickly change our work plan for the year into a 6 month plan due to the uncertainty of lockdown and what the future may hold for our traditional ways of community engagement. Digital means of communications are fast becoming a priority not only within primary care to ensure patients can still access services but in our everyday life with family and friends. In the coming months we will need to understand how Covid will affect our population, how digital communications are used and how our planned priorities for the year are affected. We had already planned to look at primary care, mental health, hospital discharge, digital transformation and BAME health inequalities and these may well be very relevant to the Covid experiences over the coming months.

Message from our CEO

I’m proud to be able to showcase the achievements of our small but dedicated staff team during the last year, supported by our Board members and loyal and enthusiastic, Health Connectors and Youthwatch volunteers. I know how lucky we are to enjoy such a committed Healthwatch family and I can’t thank them enough, not only for their skills and dedication but for the joy and laughter they bring to our team. As we go into the Covid lockdown we know how important it is to ensure our staff and our volunteers are supported during these uncertain times as well as our wider community. - Michelle Thompson BEM Cheif Exectuive Officer

Thank you to everyone who has helped and supported us during the year. We have worked with some amazing people and organisations, especially those who have shared their experiences. We simply couldn’t do what we do without you. Thank you all and keep safe.


Healthwatch Darlington's Annual Report 2019/20

Do health and social care services know what you really think?

Share your ideas and experiences and help services hear what works, what doesn’t, and what you want from care in the future. 

Share your views

See some of our young volunteers in action



Youthwatch Darlington interview NSPCC and Kooth for this year's Children's Mental Health Week 2021.