The future of urgent and emergency care at Addenbrooke's Hospital

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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.

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General details

Report title 
The future of urgent and emergency care at Addenbrooke's Hospital
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Cambridgeshire
Healthwatch Peterborough
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 2 August, 2022
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 14 February, 2022
Date evidence capture finished 
Thursday, 31 March, 2022
Key themes 
Building and facilities
Car parking access
Communication between staff and patients
Food and nutrition
Information providing
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Waiting time to be seen once arrived at appointment

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Service Provider
Primary research method used 
Focus group
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency
NHS 111
Urgent care services

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
1-15 years
16-17 years
18-24 years
25-64 years
65-85 years
Asian / Asian British
Black/ African / Caribbean / Black British
Mixed / multiple ethnic groups
Other ethnic group
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known
What type of impact was determined? 
Tangible Impact (cost related)
Tangible impact (not cost related)

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.