Summary of report content
Healthwatch Hastings undertook a listening tour to gather and share community input and views into how local health, care and well-being services are meeting the needs of local communities. This involved:
- ’Here to Listen’ sessions – these were ‘pop up stands’ in community locations such as community centres, public areas and sessions added on to existing events.
- Two focus groups - one about mental health awareness amongst young people not in education, employment or training, and ther other about the extent of social isolation in the local area.
- ‘Walking the Patch’ – two early morning and two-night time engagement sessions saw HWES staff, partners and volunteers going out into the community to engage with people whose voices are seldom heard at different times of the day and night and at locations they frequent.
- Commuter Runs – reaching the working population, two days were identified to focus on opportunities to gather feedback from the working population (those leaving Hastings and those coming into to work in Hastings).
- Working with Partners – opportunities were built into the programme for partner organisation to become involved as part of their remit in engaging with local people.
- An enter and View activity at Maternity services, Conquest Hospital, to engage with women and their partners’ families using the service.
- Social Media – the listening tour was supported by online platforms including Facebook, Twitter and the HWES website for communicating information about the tour and for people to share their feedback.
A total of 237 completed surveys were received. People told Healthwatch East Sussex that they liked:
- Pharmacy services, well received including access, advice and online repeat prescriptions where offered.
- Some good experiences of getting appointments e.g. at opticians for an individual with a learning disability
- Acknowledgement of TEXT reminders for appointments where offered.
- Generally healthcare staff were helpful and understanding
People were not so happy about:
- Long waits for GP and hospital appointments,
- Long waits for referrals to mental health services – generally good once you can access the service.
- GP closures/relocation issues.
People would like to see the following changes
- A reduction in waiting times for GP appointments and better systems to enable patients to see the same GP.
- Improvements in access to mental health services/referral process.
- Better transport links and parking facilities.
- Better use of technology – Skype, on line appointment
A vast amount of rich information was gathered by Healthwatch East Sussex during the listening tour. It held a feedback event with local stakeholders at which it was agreed to share the feedback with relevant organisations.