Accessing NHS services: A review of accessing NHS services from Oldham residents with an Eastern European backgroundDownload (PDF 3.51MB)
Summary of report content
Between June 2019 and January 2020 Healthwatch Oldham used a survey and interviews to obtain the views of Oldham’s Eastern European community on their experiences of accessing GP and NHS hospital services.
The report found that families highlighted GP waiting times as an issue. Many prefer to bypass primary care in favour of A&E rather than wait for a GP appointment. Many families who did know about alternative urgent care services said they would not use them because of language barriers and the belief that these services do not allow family members to translate. Families highlighted the lack of information and advice about NHS services in key Eastern European languages. Some families also felt that GPs were not very sympathetic and would often send them away with basic pain killers, whereas in other Eastern European countries, antibiotics would be prescribed as a matter of course. Health services in England are organised differently to those in Romania, especially in relation to referrals and specialist clinics.
Healthwatch Oldham made a number of recommendations relating to information and guidance, digital support, primary care networks, education and awareness raising, language barriers and translation services.