Summary of report content
Healthwatch County Durham (HWCD) attended 7 out of 9 public meetings delivered by Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield Clinical Commissioning Group (DDES CCG). The aim was to collate feedback received at the public engagement events and given directly to HWCD from local residents/patients in order to identify common issues and concerns following the development of a recommended service model for each locality.
Attendance at most events and the overall number of people engaged with was low. Majority of people attending the meetings were over the age of 45. However, people could also share their views with the CCG via an online questionnaire or by returning the paper version via Freepost. The agenda of the meetings was not followed, and many issues were raised that were not relevant to the aims of the events.
Common themes that they heard included: the numbers attending the events were low and there was a strong feeling that they were not advertised effectively, the choice of venues were criticised as in certain areas there was no access unless you had your own transport, it was felt that services were changing too often and the communication was poor, and GP practices were not directing patients to 111 when there were no appointments available.
The following recommendations were made: better advertising of future events, using a much broader range of methods, could result in more people attending, having a choice of venue that does not require private transport to access, to publicise the service over a longer period of time and then review it, to advertise the service in the local newspaper, social media, buses, in local shops, village halls and car parks as well as putting up posters in rural locations and delivering fliers.