Summary of report content
This Healthwatch Coventry report is based upon the lived experiences of Coventry people who have needed to use NHS services in recent months. It provides an insight into how the NHS are meeting the needs of the population since the COVID-19 pandemic.
The key issues that they have identified are:
- Communication issues – people were unable to contact the service when required, for example, telephone numbers were incorrect or weren’t answered; information was given by professionals were unclear; routine appointments were cancelled without explanation of how or when the patient would be contacted to re-start them.
- Information providing – the rapid changes to the way NHS services are delivered due to the pandemic often meant there was a delay in clear and accurate information being made available to people, letting them know how to access key services. Up to date and accessible information on how and when to access some emergency services was lacking.
- Appointments – some people wanted to be seen face to face when suitable. They wanted greater clarity as to who they should contact if there is a problem with their outpatient appointment being cancelled.
- Physical design of facilities - as some facilities and service arrangements were changed to provide care in a COVID-19 safe way, there were times when the facilities were unsuitable for people using them, for example, people having to wait outside in cold temperatures or being at the risk of exposure to the virus. Redesigning layouts could disadvantage people with a disability.
- Staff – people were mostly positive about clinical staff, however, some voiced frustration with the work of non-clinical staff, such as switchboard operators and receptionists, who were not able to give them the information they needed.