Gut Feelings

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Milton Keynes facilitated two focus groups in September and November 2018 to investigate the experiences of people using gastro-related services and how the pathways could be improved. The first focus group involved 7 individuals with gastro-related illnesses and the second focus group involved sixteen individuals, two of which were nutritionists.

They found that communication between patients and staff was inadequate as participants reported that they found it difficult to understand their condition and problems arose when communicating between different departments. Participants also reported difficulties booking appointments as they were given appointments in hospital outside of Milton Keynes. Patients described a lack of continuity in the health professionals that they saw and that their appointments were not long enough to address their issues. The general consensus was that patients felt they had to 'project manage' their own condition and often had to persist to get check-up appointments. 

Healthwatch Milton Keynes recommended that a follow-up appointment should be offered after diagnosis to clarify treatment options once the patient has processed the news. They also recommended that a nutritionist rather than a dietitian should educate the patient on practical ways to ensure nutritional requirements. Furthermore, it would be useful to see the same health professional to make full use of the appointment time. 

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General details

Report title 
Gut Feelings
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Milton Keynes
Date of publication 
Monday, 13 May, 2019
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 3 September, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 30 November, 2018
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Food and nutrition
Holistic support
Information providing
Quality of care
Quality of treatment
Staff attitudes
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Focus group
How was the information collected? 
Engagement Event
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 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
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? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

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.