Summary of report content
In January 2021, Healthwatch Dudley teamed up with The Dudley Group NHS Foundation Trust, for a friendly online conversation with local people about the future of local hospital and community health services. Plans are being made for the coming five years and the Trust wanted to ask what worked well, where the gaps are; how things could be improved and priorities for local communities. 45 people took part.
People praised the Covid vaccination programme, NHS 111 First, the setting up of long Covid support, the importance of services continuing during the pandemic and precise times for appointments. People acknowledged the pressures on staff and restrictions on hospital visiting, including at the end of life.
When asked what would make things better, people wanted improvements to the hospital discharge process to make it smoother and to ensure that people got the support they needed. People felt that there would be an increased demand for mental health services after the pandemic. There were a lot of comments about the need for communications to be improved, including between GPs and the hospital. Deaf people wanted better access to interpreters. There were concerns about access to dementia care.
There were lots of suggestions for priorities for the future including deaf awareness training for staff.
The report concludes with a response from the Trust, particularly committing itself to taking action on the communication issues.