'I need more information to make the right choices about my care'
Healthwatch identified a need for better information for people to ensure they can make informed decisions about care. In particular, better signposting and wider use of plain English is needed to help ensure patients are accessing care at the right time and that they have the ability to self-care when appropriate.
Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham found that children were attending the dentist too late to prevent tooth decay. Even though the parents in question knew the service was free, many were working on the assumption they should only take their children to see the dentist if they were in pain.
It is this sort of misunderstanding that contributed to the 26,000 five to nine years olds requiring emergency surgery in 2013/14.
'Sometimes they write something down for me – but my English isn’t good and it’s unclear to me what they mean. They know I’m Deaf – but I don’t think they understand that I don’t read English the same as hearing people.'
Respondent to Healthwatch Kirklees