Healthwatch in Sussex insight: health and care pressures 2021

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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.

  1. Encourage GPs to maximise the mechanisms by which patients can contact them.
  2. Create greater uniformity in the info provided by GPs
  3. Support from pharmacies, NHS111 and Urgent Treatment Centres could be more widely promoted to spread demand on services.
  4. Acknowledge the patient preference for face to face appointments.
  5. Understand that patient expectations for remote/virtual consultations are the same as face to face.
  6. Explore the impacts of system pressures on those from different equalities groups, and those seeking to access specific services.
  7. Make greater, regular use of VCSE insight to inform service development.

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General details

Report title 
Healthwatch in Sussex insight: health and care pressures 2021
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Brighton And Hove
Healthwatch East Sussex
Healthwatch West Sussex
Date of publication 
Monday, 19 July, 2021
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Information providing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
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 
Community pharmacy
Dentist (non-hospital)
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Urgent and emergency care services 
NHS 111
Urgent care services

Details of people who shared their views

Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
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? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

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.