The people of Littlehampton experience and views of local health services.

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch West Sussex sought the views of people living in Littlehampton of their experiences and views of health services serving the town. These were gathered through a range of engagement activity including open day events where 1500 people spoke about their experiences. In addition, over 25,000 comments were posted on social media. GP Practices. A key area of concern involved the consequences of the closure of the Arun Medical Group GP practice, which closed on 31st October 2016. People experienced problems in registering with a new local GP practice, receiving New Patient Checks and the extra demand on fewer GP practices made seeing a GP of choice more difficult. Most GP practices had introduced a telephone triage system for managing the demand for appointments. Whilst there were some positive comments in relation to one GP practice, on the whole people viewed the system negatively, calling it intrusive, feeling like a test and questioning the ability of reception staff to assess medical conditions. In response, one practice agreed that the triage system needed to be explained more fully and clearly to patients and would work with Healthwatch to develop a video. Communication. People’s experiences of communication with health services was mixed with issues relating to not being informed of key information, not being listened to and taken seriously. In response GP practices planned to undertake a programme of education for staff, focusing on communication and signposting to services. Adult and child mental health services. Whilst there were some positive comments about the services provided by MIND, on the whole the experience of children and adult mental health services was negative. Issues included problems and delays in gaining access to support such as Child and Adolescents Mental Health Services (CAMHS), the psychiatric support team and the local mental health unit. There appeared to be a specific problem in relation to children and adults experiencing ADHD, learning disabilities and autism. In response the Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust would develop better partnerships with other key services to improve the experience of children and adults. Urgent and Emergency care including Worthing Hospital Accident and Emergency (A&E) department. People’s experience of using the NHS 111 service was mixed with the most common issue being the assessment process being too long and unnecessary. Those who made comments in relation to the Ambulance Service were all positive. The experience of using Worthing Hospital was also mixed with some high praise for staff and the treatment they received. The main issue with Accident and Emergency was the time waiting to be seen and missed diagnosis of more serious problems. Worthing Hospital’s response was that the service is constantly adapting in line with patient feedback which is discussed with the team to ensure that we learn from our mistakes and agree what corrective actions can be put in place to ensure that patients have a positive experience when they receive care in A&E. Maternity services The maternity service at St Richard’s Hospital was praised as being a good experience with the care and support given by staff being most highly valued. The experience of services at Worthing Hospital was not positive with issues around communication between health staff at time of delivery and when further medical support is required. One person made a formal complaint about their experience and felt that the response was inadequate. In response Worthing Hospital stated that ‘We do realise that this area requires improvement and we are exploring options to see what could be done to provide a better experience for mothers in this situation.’ Worthing Hospital Eye Clinic. The issues raised were the long waiting times from referral to seeing the consultant and when you have an appointment the time it takes to be seen, ‘There is always a long wait and you are lucky if you are seen within a couple of hours of your appointment time.’ The Eye Clinic has now relocated to new premises at Southlands Hospital and this will provide improved facilities and a new system of referrals and appointments.

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General details

Report title 
The people of Littlehampton experience and views of local health services.
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch West Sussex
Date of publication 
Thursday, 15 June, 2017
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 March, 2017
Type of report 
Report
Key themes 
Access
Admission
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Engagement
Medication
Patient records
Quality of care
Quality of treatment
Service closure
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Other information of note about this report 
Good Practice
Healthwatch reference number 
Rep-1341

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
Primary research method used 
Consultation
User stories
How was the information collected? 
Outreach
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Urgent care services
Secondary care services 
Cancer services
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Accident & emergency
Mental health services 
Child and adolescent mental health services (CAMHS)
Community mental health team (CMHT)
Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency

Details about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 
Not known

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
27500
Age group 
Not known
Gender 
Not known
Ethnicity 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Yes
Does the information include staff's views? 
Yes
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Administrative
Doctors
Receptionists
Does the information include other people's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Mixed

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Yes
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
No
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

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.