What you've been telling us about local services

Care from your GP surgery, difficulties finding an NHS dentist and waits for hospital appointments are amongst the top experiences you've been sharing with us over the last three months.
Young woman sat indoors looks at camera

Since November, you've shared more than 550 experiences with us about local health and social care services, from GP appointments and baby clinics to hospital waiting lists and end of life care.

And we've been able to use what you tell us to raise issues with the people who make decisions about NHS and care services in our area.

What you’ve said about GP care

More than one in four of the experiences you've shared with us (27%) have been about local GP services. 

Sadly, half of these have been to tell us about problems accessing care, including difficulties getting through on the telephone. And concerns around not being able to get a face to face appointment. 

One Peterborough person told us, “It's hard to get an appointment with the GP and if you do, they don't give you enough time, especially if you have Alzheimer's."

Another said, "It is impossible to see a GP. Firstly you can't get into the queue on the phone. When you finally can, all appointments have gone."

However, one in three patients praised the support their practice has given them, with one person telling us, “They are quick to offer appointments or ring back when necessary.”

Your GP practice

Your GP practice team is made up of a range of healthcare professionals with the expertise to help treat different health conditions. 

You might not always need to see a GP. Nurses, pharmacists, physiotherapists and healthcare assistants are all trained professionals who can diagnose and treat many conditions, helping you to get advice or treatment sooner.

What you’ve said about dentists

Lots of people are still telling us how hard it is to find an NHS dentist in Cambridgeshire or Peterborough, including for children. 

"I need help, my gums are swollen and bleeding, I can't eat anything."

Peterborough resident

There’s a shortage of NHS dentists and dental nurses in our region and a significant problem in recruiting new dental staff.

Also, because of Covid-19, dentists are seeing fewer patients each day. Dentists are at high risk of getting Coronavirus so practices must carry out strict infection control and extra cleaning.

We’ve been highlighting NHS dentistry issues in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough for more than three years, following our Finding an NHS Dentist report in January 2019.

And are continuing to share your many concerns and frustrations with NHS England and NHS Improvement, which plans and pays for dental services in our area.

Advice on finding an NHS dentist

What you’ve said about Covid-19 vaccinations

We have been raising your concerns about the slow roll out of the booster programme to housebound people. And your initial worries about the problems people had booking a booster appointment at a time and place that worked for them. 

"Where can I take my 89 year old mother to get her booster and flu jab?"

Peterborough resident

You also told us about problems accessing vaccines for autistic people and those with learning disabilities, and we raised these issues with the local NHS.  

I wanted to praise everyone who has helped get this on its feet, everyone I meet on my three visits has been professional, kind, respectful and helpful.
— Peterborough resident

What you've said about hospital care

Your experiences of hospital care have been mixed, with rapid diagnosis and treatment for those who need it. 

I have seizures/epilepsy and often have to go to hospital overnight. I am well looked after at the hospital.

Peterborough resident

But others reported long waits for non-urgent tests and operations and lack of communication about when they will be seen. 

I have been waiting 10 months before gaining an appointment for an ECG Tape to wear for 24 hrs. My main difficulty has been the breathlessness and palpitations which has affected my independence and peace.
— Peterborough resident

More than 85,000 people are waiting for hospital and community care appointments in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. And the average wait for treatment is twelve and a half weeks, but one in twenty people are waiting for more than a year.

Waiting lists are going to be with us for some time to come - and they vary according to what you are waiting for treatment for. 

Support to help people waiting for care

Tell us about your experiences

NHS and social care staff are doing everything they can to keep us well during these challenging times, but there might be things that can be improved.

Your feedback can help services spot issues that are affecting care for you and your loved ones.

Share your views