Understanding people's experiences of attending the Emergency Department at the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care HospitalDownload (PDF 199KB)
Summary of report content
During November 2018 the Healthwatch teams from Northumberland and North Tyneside heard from 309 people attending the Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital (NSECH) in Cramlington. They wanted to know about people’s treatment journey as well as their experiences of using NSECH.
A key reason people gave for their use of The Northumbria was the availability of other services. Access to GP services were highlighted as an issue, particularly at weekends and evenings.
NHS 111 was used by 20% of the respondents from North Tyneside and 18% in Northumberland. Most considered their experience to be positive. People were often uncertain about where to go for treatment.
People didn’t understand language used for different services including ‘Urgent Treatment Centre’. They often made their decision on the choice of going to their GP or going to hospital rather than seeing a range of different services based on levels of need.
People discussed positive experiences of using the Paediatric Emergency Department at the Northumbria with a child.
Some patients using The Northumbria were visiting due to it being the closest hospital and not necessarily the one most suited to their health needs.
50% of respondents told us they would have preferred to be treated elsewhere. This including 19% say they thought they could have been treated at their GPs.
80% of the people we spoke to had arrived at The Northumbria by car. They highlighted concerns about the lack of public transport available and poor bus signage as issues.
Overall, the Healthwatch team found NSECH very clean, well maintained, pleasant and calm, and identified a number of issues including accessibility, limited facilities in waiting areas, including information about triage times and bus times.
The report makes a number of recommendations for Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT), North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) and Northumberland and North Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to improve people’s knowledge of more local alternatives; work with local bus companies to improve public transport access and information and improve the facilities and environment in the waiting areas.
The report includes responses from Northumbria Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust (NHFT) and North East Ambulance Service (NEAS) which indicate that action is being taken on some of the recommendations.