Summary of report content
During the Coronavirus pandemic and subsequent lockdown that began in March 2020, many routine and elective surgeries and procedures were postponed in England. As a result, there are a backlog of patients waiting for appointments.
Healthwatch Cumbria designed a survey to help gain an understanding of how acceptable a change in a healthcare situation would be if it meant a reduction in waiting time and gather the general mood that the public has towards the waiting list situation based on personal experience. The survey asked participants questions about five hypothetical scenarios, as well as questions about their own experiences of waiting lists for elective care.
In total, there were 65 respondents to the survey. Following the survey, six participants agreed to be featured as case studies.
- Respondents would rather change hospital (to either a private or non-private hospital) than change their consultant/doctor
- Patients are worried about the continuity of their care if they changed doctor (would want medical records up to date and shared between appropriate consultants)
- Multiple changes are less acceptable than a single change
- Many respondents would agree to any changes to get treatment/waiting times reduced
- A commonly shared specific worry of respondents was that their procedure is not being treated as a priority because of Covid-19
- Most of respondents have been on the waiting list for over 3 months (73%), with 29% of the total number of respondents have being the list for more than a year
- The majority consider that between 30 minutes and an hour is a reasonable amount of time to travel
- Communication has been a common issue during the pandemic
A number of recommendations were made by HW Cumbria following this engagement.