Access to healthcare for the boating community in Cheshire

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Summary of report content

Local Healthwatch from both West Cheshire and East Cheshire joined together for this project and set out to understand the issues affecting the boating community (people who live on canal boats) in Cheshire in regard to accessing Healthcare. The report is intended to be used as a basis for further discussion by boaters and supporting organisations to have conversations with GP Surgeries, Clinical Commissioning Groups and local authorities around the issues raised during this research. The research was completed from November 2017 to February 2018. There were four events for boaters to attend and give feedback on their Health and Care experiences, as well as a survey. They received 15 survey responses in total. Despite concerns prior to the research, a positive finding was that many people they spoke to that lived in marinas or on the canals seemed to receive good support from GP’s, with people being able to register at practices without any issue, although some people had experienced difficulty in registering at certain GP Surgeries due to postcode issues.

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General details

Report title 
Access to healthcare for the boating community in Cheshire
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Cheshire East
Date of publication 
Thursday, 1 March, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 November, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 28 February, 2018
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Continuity of care
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Staff attitudes
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
How was the information collected? 
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 
GP practice

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Other population characteristics 
People who are geographically isolated
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
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

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.