A look back at the Melplash Show by Lucy Cribb, Healthwatch Dorset engagement officer.

Over the summer I set up an information stand at the Melplash Show to gather feedback from local people on their experiences of using local health and social care services.  It was an early start, and when I arrived the one-day event was already busy with lots of stallholders setting up.  By 10am there were thousands of visitors, and with the help of one of our many valued volunteers, we were able to actively start talking to people, and gathering their feedback.

People speak up

We spoke to around 40 show visitors who passed by our stall and gathered the views of 16 people.  The most common theme people spoke to us about was accessing GP surgeries and dentists.  Paula from Poole said: “Generally all the services are doing the best they can, but we need to encourage more GPs into practice.”  And Joe from Weymouth commented: “There are excellent services in Weymouth.  The Dorchester Road Surgery provides a first class and efficient service.”

The people who we spoke to were more than happy to write their feedback on our newly printed comment cards and didn’t mind stopping at the stand.  The kids loved the free wristbands that I was handing out.  The atmosphere was great, it was a warm sunny day, and people came over to the stand to chat to us.  This was the first time that I had been to the Melplash Show, and it was definitely a fun event to attend.

Animal fun

Seeing all the animals was very enjoyable, and I got to spend some time watching the Terrier Racing at lunch.  This was very amusing, as the Terrier were a law unto themselves, but they got the hang of it in the end.  The Ferret Racing was my favourite part of the day, and I even won £2 on the Ferrets! (pictured right)

The sun shone

One of our valued volunteers, Sue Herman, said: “I normally go to the Melplash Show and have helped on a number of stands over the years, but I think this was the first time I’d been with Healthwatch Dorset.  We were lucky with the weather and it was so good to chat to people about their experiences of various aspects of their healthcare.  A thoroughly enjoyable, but also valuable, experience.”

Lynda Williams – the new CEO at Evolving Communities, which runs the Healthwatch Dorset service – was at the event too.  She said: “What a great day, my very first Healthwatch event gathering feedback and the sun was shining.  Brilliant day, lots of people to chat to and spending time with Healthwatch Dorset was a pleasure, they are a great team.”

What happens with all the feedback?

The feedback we gathered at the show will now be added to the database and we will share the positive feedback that we received with local services.

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