What people have told us about NHS administration

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch England analysed their national datasets to look into the experiences of people with NHS administration. This analysis was carried out as part of a project that was initiated by The King’s Fund in December 2019.

Two sets of data were analysed - data shared by the local Healthwatch with Healthwatch England via the CiviCRM system and via reports between April 2019 and April 2020. The findings shed light on how poor admin affected experiences of care for the following groups of people:

  • Sporadic users of health services - i.e. people who generally interact with NHS services only occasionally. Themes include, issues with GP registration, booking GP appointments, receiving incorrect information, and errors in communication, referrals, and prescriptions.
  • People who are/have been on the musculoskeletal (MSK) and cancer care pathway. Themes include, delays in receiving appointment letters, receiving incorrect letters, misplaced or delayed test results, and inaccurate communication.
  • People who use multiple health services, on a regular basis. Themes include, referral delays, delays in receiving prescriptions including getting incorrect medications, inaccuracies in communication between and with the services and getting conflicting information from different service providers.  
  • The report also highlights how poor admin issues in the NHS impacts specific groups of people such as the elderly, people with language barriers and those who have sight or hearing impairments.   

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General details

Report title 
What people have told us about NHS administration
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch England
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 30 June, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 1 April, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Thursday, 30 April, 2020
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Continuity of care
Information providing
Quality of care

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Other (please specify)
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
The King's Fund and local Healthwatch
Primary research method used 
User stories
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 
Community pharmacy
GP practice
Secondary care services 
Cancer services
Pain management clinics
Mental health services 
Depression and anxiety service

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
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 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Not applicable
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.