Do health and social care services work well for older residents?

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Tower Hamlets conducted a series of engagement events with 136 local residents to evaluate the NHS Long Term Plan in terms of residents' experiences and expectations. They focussed on prevention, personalisation, primary care and improving neighbourhoods. Alongside the engagement events, online surveys were used to gather feedback from 104 people with feedback from 108 people through other data collection activities. However, Healthwatch Tower Hamlets focussed on 162 respondents who were aged over 65 years.

The report stated that older people found air pollution, community safety and transport to be barriers to being active. Older people liked to be able to access more health and social care services from their own home, including better provision of home care, as well as home visits from district nurses and GPs. The suggestion, based on previous research, that bespoke financial management and budgeting classes should be offered to older people to alleviate uncertainty about their financial situation was welcomed by participants. Additionally, residents highlighted poor communication from GP surgeries on issues such as appointments, health checks and tests. Older people tend to have lower levels of internet literacy, which means that improvement plans based on improving digital access or introducing online tools may be less beneficial to them than for other demographics. In terms of service prioritsation, a proritising exercise involving currency stickers, led to the finding that older people were more likely to prioritise hospitals and older people’s services, and less likely to prioritise prevention, mental health and learning disability services compared to the general population.

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General details

Report title 
Do health and social care services work well for older residents?
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Tower Hamlets
Date of publication 
Friday, 31 May, 2019
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 1 May, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 31 May, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Health inequalities
Health promotion
Health protection
Holistic support
Information providing
Integration of services
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Public involvement
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Healthwatch England
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
How was the information collected? 
Engagement Event
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 
Community pharmacy
Dentist (non-hospital)
GP practice
Secondary care services 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
65-85 years
Specific ethnicity if 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? 
Does the information include other people'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? 
Not known
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
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.