Screen Shot 2015-09-28 at 12.56.06Two north east health workers have been seen in a new light after they were identified as being the apple of Healthwatch Newcastle’s eyes.

The pair, Dawn Rafferty from Durham and Jennifer Bedale from Seghill, Northumberland are both Eye Clinic Liaison Officers based at Newcastle’s RVI hospital and were nominated by a patient. 

Deborah Hall, Healthwatch Newcastle’s Information Support Officer, was delighted that the pair received the recognition that they deserved.

“Everyday, we hear many positive comments about patients and their family’s health and social care experiences and we believe it is important that those services hear about their great feedback.”

“We are proud to recognise the contribution that staff and services make to the success of social care and health services in our city and both Dawn and Jennifer go the extra mile to put people at ease, look after people in their care and ensure that they get the best possible treatment. In this case, the pair were nominated by a patient for helping him understand his condition.”

The role of the Eye Clinic Liaison Officers is full and varied. Dawn also spends time at Darlington Memorial Hospital while Jennifer is due to work part of her week at the new NHS health centre in Cramlington.

“We are part of a charity called Action for Blind People and we are here to provide support for people with sight loss and their families. We can explain in layman’s terms exactly what the patient may expect with their injury or eye disease and seek out extra help and support for those that need it,” said Dawn.

Jennifer was delighted that they had been selected as one of Healthwatch Newcastle’s Stars.

“We’re really pleased that Healthwatch Newcastle has identified us as one of their Stars. It’s nice to be recognised for what we do and we value our role both within the clinical environment and as a signposted service from Healthwatch Newcastle.”

Sharon Gardner, Area Operations Manager, Action for Blind People – North East said:

‘This vital early intervention service is not available at all hospitals due to funding. However, Action for Blind People work in partnership with Clinical Commissioning Groups, the Foundation Trust and Local Authorities to provide this much valued service at the Royal Victoria Infirmary, supporting blind and partially sighted people to understand their sight loss diagnosis and maximise their independence. This recognition from Healthwatch Newcastle is fantastic, especially as the nomination came from a patient who used the service’.

If you know a person or a service within Newcastle you think deserves to be recognised, let Healthwatch Newcatle know why by completing the ‘Nominate a Star’ online form at www.healthwatchnewcastle.org.uk