The increasing pressure on urgent and emergency care services is widely reported, nationally and locally. Healthwatch England has found this is negatively affecting patient experience and people are losing confidence in these vital services.
In recent months, many people have contacted Healthwatch Gloucestershire to feedback about their negative experiences of urgent and emergency care in the county, including waiting hours for an ambulance or being held for long periods in queues outside A&E, being told to transport themselves to hospital, and most commonly, waiting for hours in A&E with no indication of how long they will be there.
Through a survey and community discussion groups, Healthwatch Gloucestershire wants to build a fuller picture of how people are using services locally. They will use the feedback they gather to assess public knowledge and understanding of the different urgent care services available across the county, and to recommend how the NHS can improve patient experience and confidence in the care being provided.
Launching the new public engagement project, Lucy White, Healthwatch Gloucestershire Manager, said: “When people need care urgently or in an emergency they have to act fast. If they know which service to use and they are confident they will get the care they need from that service, they are more likely to choose well. When patients are treated by the right service, as soon as they need care, this can lead to better outcomes. It can also help to relieve pressure on services by allowing health care staff to focus on their particular area of care, for example allowing Emergency Department staff to treat life-threatening emergencies rather than urgent minor injuries or urgent dental issues. Please do share your story with us to help make care better for you and your community.”
Share your feedback by 22 December 2023
It’s easy to share your anonymous feedback with Healthwatch Gloucestershire. You can visit their website to complete a survey online:
healthwatchgloucestershire.co.uk/project/urgent-and-emergency-care or call 0800 652 5193 to request a paper copy of the survey, to share your views over the phone, or find out about joining a group discussion.