Delivering the NHS Long Term Plan
Healthwatch Report for the Black Country and West Birmingham Sustainability and Transformation Partnership (STP) – This report outlines the key findings from community engagement activities to gain insight into how people view local healthcare services. The report aims to shape local action to support the delivery of the NHS Long Term Plan.
What if everyone had what they need to Thrive
As part of our vision of ‘doing with’ rather than ‘doing to’ populations, we’re planning a series of community conversations to help us better understand what really matters when it comes to our citizens health and happiness. This is the write up from our first virtual ‘What if’ workshop held in December, 2020.
Digital tools in health and social care survey
In March 2020, prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, national lockdown and digital services having to be implemented for people to access the health services, the panel was invited to take part in a ‘Digital tools in health and social care’ survey. The aim of the survey was to gather insights on how digital services in the NHS were being or could be used.
All respondents stated they used the Internet and mainly for social media, online shopping and online banking and they found out about digital services via websites, social media, friends and family, online adverts and television. Around half of the respondents said they used the internet to book appointments online and just over half of people said they’d used NHS Digital and online services including to book a GP appointment, visit a NHS website, use 111 online, order a prescription and to access medical records or test results. Around three quarters of people found it “simple” to access NHS services online and around a third described it as “fast.” If people said that they didn’t use NHS online services, it was because they didn’t know they existed, they preferred face-to-face consultations or to use the telephone. Respondents said they’d be encouraged to use NHS digital services if they were easy to access and use, and if they were multi-functional so they could be used in one place.
Around half of the respondents said that they would consider having a telephone appointment, an email communication with their consultant or a live text chat instead of a face-to-face hospital or GP appointments. A few respondents said they would not consider any digital options for GP appointments. The majority of respondents said they would be happy for their medical records to be shared to enable their condition to be reviewed and would allow other NHS organisations or local authorities to access their data.
Covid-19 Patient Experience Survey
In June 2020, the CCGs sent a COVID-19 Patient Experience Survey to members of the Citizen’s Panel to gather their views and experiences on accessing health services during the pandemic. Most respondents who completed the survey had not had Covid-19 and felt uncertain during the lock-down period. Most respondents (especially those aged 30-39) were positive and impressed about using technology to access health services - which they found easy to use.
However, respondents also raised concerns around the difficulty of engaging with GP practices. Waiting times also emerge as an issue alongside uncertainty about rearranging an appointment to a new location.
Respondents hoped for improvements around the following:
- Delay in getting any type of appointment with a GP
- Difficulty in contacting the GP surgery by phone
- More awareness/advice needed about local health services available
- Limited support for mental health patients.
- More support/checking in on shielding patients required.
- Appropriateness of appointments offered (for example, a patient with a skin concern should be offered a video call rather than a telephone appointment.)
Wider determinants of health survey
In September 2020, Black Country Voices also took part in a survey to help us understand more about people’s lifestyles and wider circumstances and how these affect their physical and mental health. This survey also considered the impact of Covid-19 on people’s physical and mental health and asked how they would help their own mental wellbeing and where they would go if they needed support. The analysis of this survey was undertaken by the commissioning manager and results from this survey informed a report to help local organisations work together on improving aspects which affect our health.