What matters most: Four things people want from care

Since 2014, we’ve heard from 1.4 million people about what it’s like to use NHS and social care services. Our latest annual report to Parliament highlights what changes you want to see and how together we're making a difference.
Doctor speaking to patient

Getting the right support can be confusing

In the last year alone, over 400,000 people told us what matters most to them. What we’ve heard is that while people appreciate the extraordinary staff who keep the NHS running, they want services that are easier to use.

When we looked at feedback about hospitals, community health, mental health and social care, the clear message which came through is that many people find getting the right support complex and confusing.

What changes do people want to see?

We identified four things which people commonly experience when using health and social care services, and the changes they want to see.

  1. Better information to make the right choices

With the right information, people are not only empowered to make better decisions about their health and care, but know where to go for help when they need it. However, this information isn’t always available, and when it is, it can be too technical, confusing or difficult to find.

  1. Easier access to support

Quicker and easier access to health and social care services is essential. Many experience delays at every step - getting an initial appointment, hanging around in waiting rooms, waiting to see a specialist - it can take a long time for people to get the support they need. Technology used correctly offers the potential to alleviate these barriers and can provide easier access to services, and to earlier diagnosis.

  1. Improved conversations

We know people want to be involved in decisions about their treatment and care. Good communication between professionals and the public helps people to be more informed, understand their choices, and manage their expectations. This is particularly important for people with disabilities or those who don’t speak English as a first language.

  1. Services that work better together

Navigating health and social care can be complicated. People want a seamless experience across different services. When services work well together, it not only makes things easier, but also reduces the risk of serious issues being missed.

Find out more

Read more about our work in our annual report for 2017-18, What Matters Most.

Download the report

What do you want from the next decade of health and care?

There are big changes ahead. The NHS is currently making plans for the next ten years, and the Government will soon be proposing what future social care could look like.

We think people should be at the heart of these changes. We’ve already shared thousands of stories and ideas with the NHS. But we need more people to speak up, so that future care is based on what the public want.

Help us make care better by telling us what matters most to you.

Share your thoughts

You can help make health and care services better by sharing your experiences and ideas. Talk to your local Healthwatch.

Find your nearest Healthwatch

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