Summary of report content
Through general engagement carried out by Healthwatch Cheshire West, a number of concerns had been raised about the accessibility of some health and social care services for people living within the CH64 postcode. Of particular concern were issues relating to location and access of community-based services following hospital discharge, and the choice of location for NHS and Social Care Services. It was decided to conduct some further insights by carrying out a survey with local people to gain their views about the accessibility of their local services. Healthwatch Cheshire West undertook a survey to which it received 120 responses.
We received over 120 responses to our survey, via paper and online.
- Being offered a choice as to where a service could be accessed, but also being aware that a choice could be made, varied across different services. There does not appear to be a consistent approach, even if the service is available elsewhere, and this is not always communicated well.
- Cross-boundary care issues were mentioned in relation to a number of different services, but primarily related to hospital discharge and community rehabilitation services, i.e. that the community care offered to Wirral residents was not offered to Cheshire West and Chester (CWAC) residents. Also, some respondents were aware of services being available at Wirral locations that were easier for them to access but they were not offered these. This led to confusion as to why some Wirral locations and services were offered and some were not.
- Although almost half of all respondents felt there was a joined-up approach to their care, comments did regularly refer to communication issues across different services hindering their care due to a lack of awareness of different conditions that a patient may have.
- Of those who completed the survey, the majority had accessed services by car (either independently or being driven by a friend or relative). However, of those who used public transport or were aware of its limitations, there was criticism of the routes on offer and their regularity. A further exploration of local transport options would be useful, particularly in relation to transport available to the Countess of Chester Hospital.
- Individual services presented different issues in relations to accessibility. For example, Cardiology care and service was frequently referred to as excellent, and accessibility was seen as easy, though the majority of respondents did access the service by car. Of those who referred into community rehabilitation services this was primarily offered at University of Chester, again, accessed by car.
- In relation to Maternity Services - there was a mixed response to awareness of choice of service location, although the majority of respondents used their GP Practice for antenatal care and Arrowe Park for the birth of their babies.
Healthwatch Cheshire West intended to share the findings from this survey with commissioners and providers of services.