Access to health and social care services in Sheffield - Key issues from October 2021

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Summary of report content

This report summarises what Healthwatch Sheffield have heard during the month of October 2021 about accessing health and social care services in Sheffield.

  • They mostly heard positive feedback about patients’ experiences with their GP and staff in the Northern General Hospital and Royal Hallamshire Hospital.
  • Some said that their GP practices are busy, but they are still getting the right support, and that staff are friendly and helpful. Similarly, people found that although the Emergency Department at the Northern General Hospital was really busy, they still felt cared for and supported.
  • Some people struggled to book timely appointments with their GP and access repeat prescriptions. Others commented about the impact of delayed appointments following COVID-19, including very long waits for scans.
  • People also commented on the lack of staff awareness on how to support people with different types of disabilities. They felt that more training in these areas would mean staff could better understand patients who have these needs and would be able to provide more suitable support.
  • Healthwatch reported that they are still hearing from people who can’t access a dentist for a routine appointment. People aren’t clear what is classed as urgent dental treatment, and what is considered routine. They want better communication about what treatment they should be able to access.
  • People have found it difficult to get through to the community mental health services and lack of communication from staff.


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General details

Report title 
Access to health and social care services in Sheffield - Key issues from October 2021
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Sheffield
Date of publication 
Friday, 10 December, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 October, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 31 October, 2021
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Holistic support
Information providing
Quality of appointment
Quality of care
Staff training

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Primary research method used 
User stories
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Dentist (non-hospital)
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Mental health services 
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Social care services 
Adult social care
Community services 
Community based services for people with mental health needs
Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.