Summary of report content
During the pandemic, hospital appointments were delayed. Healthwatch Surrey heard from residents that, as the pandemic went on, frustration and confusion built as they did not know when they would be seen by health care professionals.
Through conversations with patients, Healthwatch Surrey heard that clear, proactive communication with patients reduces the need for multiple queries to the hospital and GPs, freeing up pressure on admin staff.
Healthwatch Surrey wrote to all the acute hospitals in Surrey in April 2021, to find out how they were planning to communicate with patients on waiting lists. They recommended that:
- Hospital websites were updated to include general information for those on waiting lists.
- There is a straightforward contact mechanism for patients to follow-up with hospitals.
- There is a consistent approach across the hospital to contact all patients currently on waiting lists at pre-determined time points.
- If the hospital needs to cancel treatment, patients are followed up with clear information as to what to expect next, with approximate time frames.
This report contains responses from five hospitals in Surrey.