HEALTH AND CARE: How can we improve our NHS services?
Over the past two weeks, we have been telling you the results of our survey about primary and urgent care.
We heard from over 6,000 people in our area, and we summarised how people answered specific questions about how they would use urgent care services, and what people thought about changes in GP services.
Moreover, we received an enormous 4,300 comments on ‘What one thing could we do to improve your experience of local NHS services’ and it is this rich information we are focusing on today.
Of over 800 comments, nearly a fifth were spontaneous positive comments saying that there was “nothing” that could be improved or commenting about the services that people had experienced.
People used terms such as ‘excellent care and treatment’, ‘lucky to have the NHS’, ‘outstanding’, ‘satisfied’, ‘caring’, ‘hard working’, ‘exceptional’, ‘first class treatment’, ‘wonderful’, ‘excellent staff’, ‘nothing but praise’, ‘happy’ and ‘helpful’.
People drew on their experience of good care, and talked of surgeries or particular services that had worked well for them.
We asked people about what they thought we could do to improve services, and the top priority seemed to be improving access to GP appointments; people described problems accessing appointments, made suggestions for extended hours, wanting longer appointments, and having to wait once they were there.
We talked about this in the first article we wrote, and we have plans on how to address this.
Delays in getting treatment was the next most important issue, which included waiting for hospital referrals, treatment, test results and other services.
People also had a lot to say about the way services were co-ordinated and how they communicated with each other – some people felt that they were passed “from pillar to post” and some described how their notes or results were not being passed on.
Other issues raised were: more training for staff, support for GPs, transport and parking, issues about prescriptions, the desire for more health promotion and checks, and the state of premises.
At the CCG we are using the findings and comments to help improve services now and for in the future.
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