Summary of report content
Healthwatch West Sussex, Healthwatch Brighton and Hove and Healthwatch East Sussex came together to compile existing relevant evidence and insight to inform the wider action research being carried out within the Sussex Integrated Care System (ICS). Information in the report comes from the 3 Healthwatch, plus reports and websites of other Healthwatch and Healthwatch England, and a small number of reports from VCSE organisations in Sussex.
The evidence in the report supports the hypothesis of Sussex ICS, that if general practice was able to offer more appointments, and do so in a way that meets the needs and preferences of patients (e.g. face to face), this may result in fewer people presenting at Emergency Departments and Urgent Treatment Centres.
The report makes 7 recommendations.
- Encourage GPs to maximise the mechanisms by which patients can contact them.
- Create greater uniformity in the info provided by GPs
- Support from pharmacies, NHS111 and Urgent Treatment Centres could be more widely promoted to spread demand on services.
- Acknowledge the patient preference for face to face appointments.
- Understand that patient expectations for remote/virtual consultations are the same as face to face.
- Explore the impacts of system pressures on those from different equalities groups, and those seeking to access specific services.
- Make greater, regular use of VCSE insight to inform service development.