Summary of report content
Healthwatch Cambridgeshire and Healthwatch Peterborough were commissioned by the South Integrated Care partnership to find out more about local people’s experiences of urgent and emergency care services. Between 14 February and 31 March 2022, they interviewed 70 people who had had visited Addenbrooke’s Urgent and Emergency Care services within the last 12 months and undertook a focus group with 15 young people
Overall people said they were happy with the care they received at the Accident and Emergency (A&E) department. Most people were treated and discharged back home. One in three people (34%) were admitted onto wards from the A&E department. Their stay in hospital ranged between one and 28 days.
The Health Champions identified five key themes from the feedback people shared:
- When arriving at the hospital, people experienced problems parking and finding out where they needed to go.
- People frequently commented on how the waiting environment made their experience of waiting in A&E unpleasant and challenging. This included concerns about having to wait outside the building, long waits for care and the lack of facilities whilst waiting.
- Some people told us about difficulties accessing A&E for disabled people, including problems knowing when they were called for treatment.
- Feedback about treatment was largely positive with many people telling us they received excellent care. However, in some cases people said it would have been better if they had more help, reassurance and communication.
- A separate entrance, waiting and treatment area for children was suggested both by people attending with children, and those who were not. Many noted that during their visits, children were exposed to upsetting sights and sounds from adults who were unwell or behaving in an antisocial manner.
- Three out of four (74%) of the people said they contacted another health service before visiting Addenbrooke’s, including their GP, calling NHS 111 or 999, or speaking to another NHS service. Almost one in ten (9%) of the people thought they could have avoided visiting A&E if they had been able to get an appointment with their GP sooner, or if their GP had done a more thorough diagnosis of their symptoms.
The report contains a response from the provider setting out the changes it intends to make as a result of the findings.