Over the last year (April 2020-March 2021), during the pandemic, 2,364 Gloucestershire residents shared feedback on the county’s health and social care services with Healthwatch Gloucestershire or sought information and advice on how to access the care and support they needed.
In its latest Annual Report, Healthwatch Gloucestershire explains how it worked throughout the year to understand people’s health and care needs, and how it used public feedback to help services respond and improve care for local people. The report also identifies the most common issues people raised, and outlines work planned for 2021-22.
The year in numbers
- In total, 2,364 people shared feedback or sought information about health and care services.
- 1,594 people shared their views and experiences of local health and social care.
- 770 people sought information, advice, and support on how to get the care they need.
- Healthwatch Gloucestershire published 6 reports and made 27 recommendations for improvement to health and social care providers.
- The most common areas of comment and enquiry raised with Healthwatch Gloucestershire last year were GP services (34%), dentistry (20%), Covid-19 vaccinations (12%), patient transport (3%) and care at home services (3%).
- 50 volunteers supported Healthwatch Gloucestershire last year, giving up 71 days of their time to engage with patients and the public, and to assess services.
Healthwatch Gloucestershire reports published during the year
- Care during COVID-19: A carers perspective (Sept 2020)
- Dental services during COVID-19: Difficulties and delays in accessing dental care in Gloucestershire (Sept 2020)
- Experiences of urgent mental health care in A&E: A Gloucestershire perspective (Nov 2020)
- Gloucestershire health and social care, six months of COVID-19: What local people told us (Nov 2020)
- Living with a long-term health condition during COVID-19: What local people told us (Dec 2020)
- Accessing care through GP practices in Gloucestershire (Feb 2021)
Announcing the annual report, Nikki Richardson, Chair of the Healthwatch Gloucestershire local Board, said: “Healthwatch Gloucestershire has had a significant role during the last unprecedented and challenging year. We provided reliable and reassuring information and support for the public and, as the pandemic shone a light on cracks in the health and care system, we highlighted which areas were working well and which were struggling, to help services understand and respond to people’s needs. We have listened to local people and followed through with work that has enormous potential to improve people’s experiences of health and care. For example, we have reported on the lack of NHS dental provision in the county during the pandemic, and we have highlighted inequalities in people’s experiences of health and care, showing that different people need to be helped in ways that work for them.
“I would like to thank everyone who shared their views and experiences with us. I would also like to applaud the phenomenal response to COVID-19 from local health and care services as well as the public, who made sacrifices to protect themselves and others. We need to continue working together as we move out of the pandemic, to ensure that the excellent work achieved this year, in tackling the virus and to provide quality care for local people, is enhanced by what patients and the public tell us they want and need.”
Healthwatch Gloucestershire projects planned for 2021-22
Healthwatch Gloucestershire will continue to gather and use public feedback to drive improvements in health and social care, focusing this year on:
- Young people’s health and social care services
- Care at home services
- Digital health, particularly in GP care
- Mental health services
- Health inequalities and barriers to accessing health and social care.
Read the full Healthwatch Gloucestershire Annual Report 2020-21 to find out more about their work during the past year, including findings and recommendations for changes to services.
Find out more about Healthwatch Gloucestershire by signing up for regular news updates, or explore the website, where you can also share your views and experiences of Gloucestershire’s health and care services.