September round up

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Summary of report content

The report outlines the key issues from September 2020 about access to health and social care services in Sheffield. It includes:

  • GP services- people were finding it difficult to book appointments- they were either unable to get through on the phone or were waiting for a long time to speak to someone. This issue has become even more significant now that the only way to access a large number of services is by telephone.
  • Dentists- people couldn’t find a dentist when they needed treatment, which increased their stress and pain. Access to dental care has been the most frequently raised issue throughout the pandemic- while previously people were struggling to access urgent care, Healthwatch Sheffield are now hearing about the longer-term impacts of paused or delayed dental treatment, and the limited capacity to take on new NHS patients.
  • Delayed treatment- people have experienced cancelled and delayed treatment, including surgery to treat serious conditions which has had a significant impact on them in terms of pain management, worsening symptoms, and deteriorating mental health and wellbeing.
  • Communication- people have shared confusion or concerns about the communication they’ve received from services- this includes not knowing how to make an appointment while services are working differently, and not being kept up to date with when routine appointments will be back up and running. Communication has been particularly challenging for people with hearing impairments and with language barriers.
  • Flu vaccinations- people had positive experiences at their GPs when they received their flu vaccines. They valued safe environments with friendly staff.
  • Mental Health respite care- 3 people shared their experience which relates to the provision of mental health respite. The respite bed closed during the pandemic and the situation was made worse because people received mixed messages about whether the bed would reopen at any point, and what they could access in the meantime.

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General details

Report title 
September round up
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Sheffield
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 28 October, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 1 September, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 30 September, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Continuity of care
Digitalisation of services
Health promotion
Information providing
Service closure
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Primary research method used 
User stories
How was the information collected? 
Website Feedback
Third Party
Social Media
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 
Dentist (non-hospital)
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Social care services 
Respite care

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
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? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

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.