Getting to outpatient appointments

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Summary of report content

We were aware that a potential solution to issues in the NHS regarding quality of care, finances and safety of provision is to potentially locate specialist services in fewer locations, impatient on both inpatient and outpatient care.

We therefore set out to begin to understand the implications for local people of needing to travel outside of Coventry to access outpatient appointments and tests and the impact of this.

The aims of this piece of work were to:

  1. To gather public views and experiences of getting to outpatient appointments and what choices and decisions people make
  2. To gather information about how easy it is for people to travel longer distances for appointments
  3. To begin to understand the implications for the population of traveling to outpatient appointments

Through a public survey we gathered the views of 205 local people. We made 5 recommendations to local NHS planners:

  1. The frequency, connectivity and timing of public transport is improved to support access to hospital sites for those who live in Coventry and travel by public transport
  2. Services are delivered as close as possible to where people live
  3. There is consideration of the types of clinics which are provided at greater distance and the impact this will have on the specific patient group(s).
  4. An understanding of what information will help people to be confident in travelling to unfamiliar hospital locations is developed
  5. The development of smarter appointment booking systems enabling identification of appointment times to enable people travelling from Coventry to have easier journeys to locations such as St .Cross  in Rugby eg avoiding peak traffic flow periods.

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General details

Report title 
Getting to outpatient appointments
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Coventry
Date of publication 
Thursday, 29 March, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 November, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 29 January, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 

Methodology and approach

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

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
Acute services without overnight beds / listed acute services with or without overnight beds
Day care

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Other population characteristics 
People with limited family or social networks
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? 
Does the information include other people'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? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Network related impact

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.