The impact of waiting for NHS surgery in Somerset

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Somerset carried out an online survey to record people’s experiences of waiting for elective surgery. The survey ran from 26 July to 19 September 2021 and engaged 72 members of the public.

This research was carried out with direction from the Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (SCCG) to help inform the SCCG’s Quality and Safety Committee (QSC) of service user experiences.

Key findings:

    • 48 out of 72 people had been waiting over 40 weeks for their surgery
    • Many people indicated a lack, or absence, of communication from their specialist during their wait
    • A large proportion experienced one or more of the following due to waiting for surgery: 1) their condition had deteriorated; 2) their mobility had reduced during their wait, and this had impacted on their ability to carry out everyday tasks; 3) they had experienced changes in their daily mood
    • 35 of 46 people relied on family and/or friends to help them manage daily tasks
    • Many people did not know how much longer they would have to wait for their surgery

Recommendations outlined in the report include frequent communication and provision of information to all patients waiting for surgery; provision of information and useful advice for specific needs and contacts for external support; regular welfare checks; additional support for those with unpaid caring responsibilities and those being cared for by friends and family.

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General details

Report title 
The impact of waiting for NHS surgery in Somerset
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Somerset
Date of publication 
Monday, 29 November, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 26 July, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 19 September, 2021
Key themes 
Cancellation
Communication between staff and patients
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Support
Waiting times and lists for treatment

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Yes
What type of organisation requested the work 
CCG
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Somerset Clinical Commissioning Group (SCCG)
Primary research method used 
Survey

Details of health and care services included in the report

Secondary care services 
General surgery

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Not known
Types of long term conditions 
Not known

Details of people who shared their views

Age group 
All
Gender 
All
Ethnicity 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Negative

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
No
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
No

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.