What do local people think should be done to improve urgent and emergency care?

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Barnet, Camden, Enfield, and Islington held a number of discussion groups with people in March and April 2017 to hear about their experiences with urgent and emergency care. This was done as part of NHS’s Sustainability and Transformation Plan, to improve the local provision of healthcare. The four Healthwatch organisations spoke to 117 people of varying demographics in different settings. Respondents included Bangladeshi, Cypriot, and Gypsy Roma women. Also, a group of Polish men & women, visually impaired people, a group of LGBTQ residents and other mixed groups. The report identifies some key issues in the area including the lack of GP appointments, cultural barriers and poor communication. The biggest concern was about the lack of awareness of services and not understanding the options available. Some had poor experience of A&E (notably in Enfield) whilst others were frustrated with the lack of coordination between services. Positive feedback was also received about A&E with some users having a good experience, especially for children's services, and others finding it a good place to access experts. Many recommendations were suggested by the service users as part of ‘user driven solutions.’ The biggest focus was preventing the need for emergency care by improving GP access, providing better community services and having ‘joined up services.’ Some other major themes were raising awareness about services out there such as NHS 111, elderly people need to know what options they have, and improving staff training especially around disability awareness. More responsibility from patients was also seen as a recommendation: “I would charge people if they did not attend an appointment with their GP and turned up at A&E instead.” The summary of the report was shared with North Central London Urgent and Emergency Care programme board, to help plan improvements in the future. Plans were made to hold more discussion with the public.

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General details

Report title 
What do local people think should be done to improve urgent and emergency care?
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Barnet
Healthwatch Camden
Healthwatch Enfield
Healthwatch Haringey
Healthwatch Islington
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 2 May, 2017
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 1 March, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Saturday, 1 April, 2017
Type of report 
Report
Key themes 
Access
Booking appointments
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Holistic support
Information providing
Quality of care
Quality of staffing
Staff attitudes
Staff levels
Staff training
Support
Waiting time to be seen once arrived at appointment
Other information of note about this report 
LGBT
Healthwatch reference number 
Rep-1243

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
Healhtwatch Barnet, Healthwatch Camden, Healthwatch Enfield , Healthwatch Islington and Healthwatch Haringey
Primary research method used 
Focus group
How was the information collected? 
Engagement Event
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 
Urgent care services
Secondary care services 
Accident & emergency
Urgent and emergency care services 
Accident & emergency
NHS 111
Urgent care services

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
117
Age group 
All
Gender 
All
Ethnicity 
All
Specific ethnicity if known 
All
Sexual orientation 
NA
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
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? 
No
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
No
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
No
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
No

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.