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A roadshow which travelled almost 400 miles around Gloucestershire to find out the views of local people on health and care services has finished its six-day tour with more than 500 views collected.

Staff and volunteers from the county’s independent health and care champion Healthwatch Gloucestershire took to the roads in a classic 1969 VW campervan and parked up at various locations around the county to gather the views and experiences of people of all ages on health and social care services.

The Campervan & Comments Tour, which was organised to reach people who may not have heard of Healthwatch Gloucestershire before, visited 11 key locations all over Gloucestershire.

The most popular topic of conversation centred around waiting times for GP appointments, with mixed responses from across the county.  James from Stroud gave his views on his local GP service, “I have been a patient at my surgery for many years, it has changed a lot in that time.  In some areas it has deteriorated, in others I think it is better than it was.  I like being able to get phone appointments if a doctor is unable to see me, however the waits for face-to-face appointments are long.”

Healthwatch Gloucestershire volunteer John helped out on the tour.  He said, “I thoroughly enjoyed my day spent with the team on the campervan tour, listening to people’s experiences of health and social care.”

Reflecting on the tour, Healthwatch Gloucestershire Manager Julia Butler-Hunt added: “A lot of people told us how much they valued and appreciated NHS services, although access to Primary Care was an issue that came up again and again.

“We will be reviewing all the feedback and ensuring that these are shared with the delivery and commissioning organisations.  We also had feedback about the NHS Long Term Plan which will be valuable information for the local NHS to know what it should do to make care better for Gloucestershire.”

The findings of the roadshow will now be complied into a report which will be shared with the decision-making organisations in Gloucestershire – those that pay for and plan for health and care services in the county.