Do health and social care services work well for older residents?Download (PDF 615KB)
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.