Our Information Service has had around 120 calls for extra support from people in and around the City. That’s in addition to the 262 responses to our recent Covid-19 survey and the 21,000 views of our information and advice articles on our website.
Healthwatch Information Manager Julie McNeill recently gave an update to Peterborough Health and Care Forum on the issues you have been raising with our Information Service.
You have had positive experiences to share about care continuing and examples of where GP practices and hospitals are working together to provide seamless journeys for some patients.
You have also shared some poor experiences – including muddled communications with local services such as:
- Not receiving information about what should happen after cancelled appointments and procedures and who to contact if condition worsens.
- Getting conflicting messages about issues like registering with a GP and accessing NHS dental services.
- Struggling with guidance on what’s open, how to access services and what to do.
You have expressed worries about
- Changes to medication
- Delays for repeat prescriptions
- Problems getting registered with a GP.
Access to dentists has continued to be a problem. We know there are lots of issues in Peterborough – flagged up in our Finding an NHS Dentist report last year. And local people have been continuing to contact us about trying to access [non emergency] care and about worries over the impact on long term dental health, especially for children.
There is still a huge shortage of NHS capacity locally. So Healthwatch is talking to NHS England and NHS111 about the problem.
Healthwatch has also seen a spike in enquiries on Covid testing. The lack of tests available because of high demand has been very difficult for people.
Why sharing your experience matters
Telling us your experience of health and social care, good and bad, helps improve local services.
Healthwatch has a very clear process about what to do with the information people give us through sharing health and care experiences.
If there is a particular issue that is affecting more than just a handful of people, we will “escalate” it – which means reporting it to the people that can investigate it or do something about it.
They could include:
- Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group, which buys and manages health services across our area
- The Care Quality Commission, which independently regulates all health and social care services in England.
- Peterborough City Council which provides social care services
- The NHS trusts which run local hospitals
- Healthwatch England which will pass information on to Government and other national bodies.
All the feedback you give us is anonymised before it’s sent on - so no one is identified.
And often, it can be reassuring for people to know that the experience they shared with us has led to identifying a problem.
Can we help?
Our information service is here and happy to help if you are struggling to find information about local health and care services. We can also help you find out what your options are if you have a concern or want to complain about local services.
Share your views too
It’s easy to tell us your experiences – click the button below to use the form on our website. Or click here to get in touch with us in other ways.