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CHP’s Simon Waters reflects on winning Judges Choice Award at Government Property Awards 2022

I was honoured to win the Judge’s Award at the Government Property Awards last year. I was proud to share this award with my colleagues and AccessAble, as it was a team effort.

The awards ceremony took place in London on 11 October brought together colleagues from across central government departments and their associated organisations and recognised individuals and team efforts from across the industry with a range of award categories.

AccessAble is the UK’s leading provider of detailed disabled-access information. CHP worked with them to create Detailed Access Guides for each of our 308 sites across England. These guides help people who require additional support to plan for their visit and make the most out of their appointment.

Simon Waters wins Judges Choice Award

The Guides are 100% facts, figures, and photographs which patients, staff and visitors can view and prep for ahead of each visit. They cover everything from parking facilities and hearing loops, to walking distances and accessible toilets. I am proud that CHP is making a difference to anyone who uses our buildings. We are taking a proactive stance towards improving accessibility to our fantastic, state-of-the-art facilities. In the UK today, there are over 14 million registered disabled people, and it’s estimated that 45% of people aged 65+ have a disability. For many of these people, the primary care estate, such as our own at CHP, is their gateway to help and assistance. This means that 1 in 4 households has a member with an accessibility issue. This statistic highlights the importance of always keeping accessibility in mind throughout our estate.

My award is a vindication of the project’s creation and the success of its delivery. CHP aims to put its buildings at the heart of the communities it serves and recognises that everyone’s needs are different. I am proud to have led this project and to have moved the organisation even further forward in its support for those with accessibility issues.

In addition to the guides, CHP’s social value team has had success in furthering our Corporate Social Responsibility, including implementing a volunteering strategy for colleagues. In 2022, CHP generated over £40m of social and economic value through our projects in our buildings. Part of that figure was our accessibility work, with £169k attributed to modifications made within our buildings.

To further support our commitment to accessibility, the project team worked with several Disability Ambassadors to pull together a series of short stop-motion videos. These videos capture real experiences from those with a disability when visiting somewhere new.

I am proud to have won a Government Property Award, but I accept it not as an individual, but on behalf of the dedicated and hard-working team at CHP, without whom, none of this would have been possible.

You can find a free CHP Access Guide herewww.communityhealthpartnerships.co.uk/accessable

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