Summary of report content
Healthwatch Waltham Forest conducted an Enter and View visit to the Urgent Care Centre (UCC) at Whipps Cross University Hospital on 26-27 April and 8 May 2019. The visit was carried out after Healthwatch Waltham Forest was commissioned to deliver an Urgent Care Patient Engagement project through reviewing service users' experiences of Urgent and Emergency Care Services in Waltham Forest and at Whipps Cross Hospital. Feedback was gathered from patients, families and staff, through observation, interviews and surveys.
Key findings included: The UCC staff team to be welcoming and accommodating over the visits. They were keen to provide relevant information and facilitated the site visits in preparation for the Enter and View. The service appeared to be run well by a focused staff team who were generally caring and compassionate towards their patients and supportive of each other.
The provider had clear, structured systems in place, including risk management, incident reporting and safeguarding. The majority of patients felt that overall, they received a good service. Patients felt there was not enough information regarding the unit itself, such as information on services provided, the ticketing system, waiting times, and the complaints process. The UCC had mechanisms in place to meet patients' cultural or religious requirements and to support people with additional needs - however some staff experience barriers to accessing effective support.
Based on their findings, Healthwatch Waltham Forest made five recommendations:
- A review of the systems and signage within the department with a view to improving the queuing and assessment process.
- Improvements to information for and communication with patients.
- Adaptation of the waiting area to improve patient experience.
- Further support to improve the good care delivered to patients with additional needs.
- Promotion of the designated space within the waiting area where people could sit if they had any additional/special support needs.