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Your spotlight on health and social care services


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"I don't know which healthcare service to use when"

Patients don’t always feel they have enough information to know which healthcare service to visit. In particular, our national poll revealed that more work needs to be done to promote out-of-hours services, community pharmacists and walk-in centres to improve consumer experience and reduce pressure on other parts of the system such as A&E.

For example

Half of the people Healthwatch Enfield spoke to didn’t know about the out-of-hours options open to them.

Similarly, in a spot check of surgery answerphone services, Healthwatch Hampshire found that more than a quarter of the 144 surgeries across the county were still giving out the wrong out-of-hours number over a year after the introduction of the NHS 111 service.

‘I had no idea that pharmacies provide services such as blood testing service, vascular risk assessment, sugar testing, BMI so they must advertise more. It would be fantastic if all pharmacies offered these services.'

Respondent to Healthwatch Waltham Forest