Summary of report content
Healthwatch Bexley engaged with local residents to enable them to have their say in how the NHS can better take care of them and how the care they receive can be improved. This work was carried out to inform and support local implementation of the NHS Long Term Plan, as part of wider engagement coordinated by Healthwatch England. This report highlights the findings of Bexley residents that fed into the overall report from South East London.
Through surveys and focus groups, findings included:
- Overall, people were aware they should eat healthily and take regular exercise, but felt monetary constraints and busy lifestyles were barriers to making this a reality. It was also paramount to people that the link between mental and physical health is made to help them live a healthy life.
- Whilst they had a general awareness that exercise and good diet is vital to wellbeing, people would like more in depth information and education.
- A huge area of concern for all was easier and quicker access to GP services.
- To help them manage and choose support, people highlighted the need to be able to access local services in a timely manner, and for services to be better integrated.
- People gave mixed feedback on digital services. Those who objected were concerned that technology would override the current channels to make appointments and access services. Therefore, they would like the option to make appointments through digital formats, but would still like the option to speak to staff either face to face or on the phone.
- Early access and prevention were significant themes for those with lived experience of mental health issues and parents/carers.
- Adults with learning disabilities and/or autism and parents/carers also described a number of barriers to accessing appointments, and challenges around professionals and services both understanding and meeting their needs.
The feedback gathered from this engagement work was used to feed into the development of the South East London response to the NHS Long Term Plan.