Listening to Hastings

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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.

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General details

Report title 
Listening to Hastings
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch East Sussex
Date of publication 
Thursday, 3 October, 2019
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 3 February, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 3 February, 2020
Type of report 
Public opinion
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Quality of appointment
Quality of care
Quality of staffing
Service closure
Waiting times and lists for treatment
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? 
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
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Counselling/improving access to psychological therapies (IAPT)
Accident & emergency
Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Mental health crisis service
Community services 
Community based services for people with mental health needs
Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency

Details about conditions and diseases

Conditions or diseases 
Fertility, pregnancy and childbirth
Types of disabilities 
Learning or understanding or concentrating
Mental health
What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 
New mothers

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
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? 
Not known
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.