Summary of report content
Healthwatch York undertook research in June 2020 for the NHS Vale of York Clinical Commissioning Group to understand what people already knew about urgent care in the Vale of York and when they used it. They spoke to 23 people.
The preferred choice of advice and urgent care for many people was their GP, many preferred face-to-face appointments and for some video conferencing was not an option but getting an appointment to speak to or see a GP within 3 weeks was often difficult. Some people have difficulties getting past the receptionist: Some people reported that they rarely saw the same doctor and that this can lead to problems in having to explain their condition several times and the occasional mix up with medical history and medication leading to serious consequences.
For some people travelling to a GP surgery for urgent care was difficult, especially when they are sent to a surgery outside of their local area. Travel can also be expensive, which is an important barrier to accessing urgent care for some people
There is a lack of knowledge about the options for out of hours care, especially during evening and weekends. There is also some confusion about the different options for urgent care.
For one in person with experience of mental health services there was a lack of emergency care and after care.
For some people access to the internet and technology was not difficult, and during the Covid-19 pandemic, it was preferred. Other people, however, have no access to the internet or the equipment to enable them to access online video. Some people also may have had access but preferred not to use online video.
There were nine recommendations to improve urgent care, including better access to GP appointments, better telephone systems and triaging, being able to speak to a healthcare professional on the same day, better information, easier parking at A&E and better help for people with a mental health emergency.