New film featuring ECC CEO launched on Collaborate Essex website

The Chief Executive of Essex County Council, Gavin Jones, has endorsed the pioneering Collaborate Essex project that is looking to create a brand-new model to support the design and development of services to disabled people.

In a new film made by Healthwatch Essex subsidiary HWE Insights and posted on the project’s website – – Mr Jones spells out why it is so important that anyone in the county with a disability, or any carer who looks after someone with a disability, share their experiences and their opinions.

“The services we deliver or commission for people are not for our benefit, they’re there to try to help people to live the best lives they possibly can,” he says in the film. “We don’t have the lived experience that an individual, or a group of people, may have.

“So, if we’re here to truly help people’s lives – which I believe is what we are here for – then actually, far better to allow time to have a deep understanding of what their experience is and what the barriers are to them being able to live the lives that they want to live.”

The Collaborate Essex project has been commissioned by Essex County Council and is being delivered by HWE Insights, which is a subsidiary of the local charity Healthwatch Essex. The Council has asked HWE Insights to be radical in designing a new model to help the council to listen to people with experience of disability.

Tom Nutt, Chief Executive of Healthwatch Essex, said, “Our background of capturing the ‘lived experience’ of people who use health and care services made us a natural ally for the Council when it came to getting this project off the ground.

“We are encouraging anyone with experience of disability to complete the survey on the website by 20 February. The Gavin Jones film is there to view now, alongside other films, and a podcast will also be uploaded later this week. You can also attend an event on either 7th or 9th February.”

Cllr Graham Butland, Cabinet Member for Health, said, “Collaborate Essex is a really important project and I would urge anyone with experience of disability to get involved. It is a good example of how our vision for 2021 and the future of public services in Essex is being put into practice and how collaboration is at the heart of that vision.”

For more information on the work of Healthwatch Essex visit and check out the Lived Experience training course.

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