Summary of report content
Healthwatch Oxfordshire decided to undertake research into the experiences of the residents of Didcot of living in and accessing services in that area. 146 people shared their opinions between September and December 2020.
Overall people are positive about living in the area and being able to find information on how to access services.
Almost a quarter of respondents complained about access to GP practices and health service appointments. Almost a third of people said that the impact of changes to GP services during the Covid-19 pandemic had been positive reporting how much better it was to be able to use telephone/video/e-consult as an option.
Over half were registered with an NHS dentist – many travelling out of area due to lack of NHS provision in Didcot. Over a third of people using NHS dentistry said that since the COVID-19 outbreak there had been “No appointments available since March” and highlighted the issue of “dentists not allowing any checks ups and will only see you in an emergency.
Over two in five people reported that traffic and poor road conditions were a negative factor regarding traffic jams and air quality. Fifteen per cent cited lack of provision and facilities for young people and families as a problem in the town. Anti-social behaviour was raised by over 15% of respondents. Crime was an issue raised by over 15% of respondents.
Concerns expressed included:
- The impact of online/remote access on access to healthcare on those who do not/cannot use these services (internet/mobile phones)
- Inequity of access to dentistry services between those who can afford to pay for private care and those who cannot and are reliant on NHS dentistry services
- Impact of housing growth on infrastructure and health services.
The report concludes with a call for action to public bodies and partnerships responsible for planning and delivering services in Didcot to work with local communities to ensure that planned population growth in the area is sustainable and supported with adequate infrastructure.