Elective Care Recovery - Mood of the Public

Download (PDF 752KB)

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.

Key findings:

  • 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.

Would you like to look at:

General details

Report title 
Elective Care Recovery - Mood of the Public
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Cumbria
Date of publication 
Monday, 20 December, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 29 March, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 21 May, 2021
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Waiting times and lists for treatment

Methodology and approach

Primary research method used 
User stories

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
General surgery
Inpatient care
Obstetrics & gynaecology
Respiratory medicine

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
18-24 years
25-64 years
65-85 years
Non binary
Prefer not to say
Asian / Asian British
Black/ African / Caribbean / Black British
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

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.