Our priorities for April 2020 – March 2021
Healthwatch Gloucestershire’s priorities for this year have been identified and agreed as part of the annual work plan process. These projects are:
Care during COVID-19
The coronavirus pandemic required health and social care services to adapt at great speed to care for people with the virus, while trying to maintain care and support for many of our most sick and vulnerable people. Many treatments and services were put on hold, while others introduced new ways of delivering care and support. As health and social care services recover from COVID-19, public feedback has never been more important to help providers reflect and develop to provide the best possible care.
We launched our public feedback project in April 2020 to find out how people’s experience of local health and care services have been affected by the virus. This included an online survey, focus group discussions and interviews. Our survey closed at the end of September 2020; we are analysing feedback and will report our findings in autumn 2020.
We will use this feedback to tell local NHS and social care providers what is working well and where things need to adapt and improve. Our work will also feed into national research carried out by Healthwatch England and the Care Quality Commission.
Isolation is a core experience of the coronavirus pandemic. Findings from Healthwatch Gloucestershire’s survey into people’s experiences of accessing care during the virus outbreak, will help to shape more in-depth work on social isolation during the year ahead.
Accessing care through GP surgeries is one of the most common areas of feedback received by Healthwatch Gloucestershire. For example, long waits for the phone to be answered or for appointments, and issues around how staff deal with people seeking care. This work would aim to investigate whether the anecdotal evidence is reflected in the information gathered by the new Primary Care Networks. For example, by reviewing data on waiting times, gathering people’s experiences of interactions with their local surgery, and evaluating whether information provided to patients helps them get the best from their surgery.
Coronavirus is having a big impact on the delivery of services through GPs surgeries. The timing of this project and elements of this work will be adjusted to ensure it is relevant and meaningful.
Service to service
Transitions between services
Anxiety, delay and confusion are common themes reported to Healthwatch Gloucestershire by people moving from one service to another. While the services themselves are often regarded as good, the transition can be stressful. We would like to investigate this further by focusing on the experiences of stroke victims and their health and social care journey. The aim would be to identify what works well and what needs to be improved for patients and their carers, to deliver a more seamless transition between services. The project will begin with a research phase to review people’s past experiences, while developing ideas for further engagement work.
Young Listeners’ Project
Healthwatch Gloucestershire aims to establish a new Young Listeners’ project. Young people from across Gloucestershire would be recruited as volunteer young listeners to engage with other children and young people so that their voices are involved in shaping local services.
This project is on hold until it is safe to go out and engage with young people around the county.
Mental health and A&E services
Healthwatch Gloucestershire, along with their parent organisation, Evolving Communities, decided to carry out a piece of engagement work to learn more about the experiences of those who access mental health support through the accident and emergency (A&E) departments at Gloucestershire Royal Hospital and Cheltenham General Hospital.
The aim of this project is to build a picture of mental health provision in these A&E departments from the point of view of those who have used the service (and their families/carers).
Online survey: [closed 29 March 2020]
Access to A&E care for people with a mental health condition: A Gloucestershire perspective, January 2020
Mental health from a carer’s perspective
In 2019, Healthwatch Gloucestershire gathered a wide variety of feedback on many aspects of mental health services from people across the county. We identified people who were caring for those who had a mental health illness and who wanted their voice heard. Carers spoke to us about what mattered most to them regarding mental health support for the person they care for.
Read the final report, January 2020.
Mental health and substance misuse services
Healthwatch Gloucestershire is carrying out a research project after seeing a rise in complaints from people about the lack of support and integration between mental health and drug and alcohol services in the county for those with co-existing problems.
A team of trained Healthwatch Gloucestershire volunteers are visiting local groups that provide support for service users, their families and unpaid carers. These conversations will largely be carried out in the form of a focus groups and will help feed into a report which will be presented to the health and community services. Patients and their families were also asked to share their views and experiences in an online survey (closed on 30 November 2019). Final report to follow.
NHS Special Care Dental Services
Special care dental services focus on improving the oral health of people who have a health condition or have circumstances which prevents them from using a high street dentist. The NHS is working in partnership with local Healthwatch to capture the views of those using the services or are eligible to do so.
The engagement work, including an online survey ran until 4 October 2019. We have submitted our final report to NHS England and NHS Improvement, who will analyse the feedback, publish the findings and explain the next steps.
- Do you or someone you care for use NHS special care dental services in the South West?, August 2019
- Download the Leaflet and Poster
- Download the Easy Read Questionnaire and Easy Read Poster
NHS Long Term Plan
The NHS has produced a Long Term Plan, setting out all the things it wants health services to do better for people across the country. Your local NHS needed to hear from you about what those changes should look like in your community. Our report has now been published that details the engagement work carried out by Healthwatch Gloucestershire around the NHS Long Term Plan.
Read the final report, July 2019.
- The top four things people in Gloucestershire would like to see improved in local NHS services, July 2019
- Thank you: Over 240 people tell Healthwatch Gloucestershire what they think would make the NHS better, May 2019
- Gloucestershire resident Brian urges people to speak up, March 2019
- Project page: NHS Long Term Plan
Mental Health Survey
Healthwatch Gloucestershire has carried out engagement with people of all ages in Gloucestershire, in order to find out views on the current provision and gaps, along with areas of good practice and areas for improvement. We also asked people how they maintain good mental health. Our report has now been published and will be presented to the Gloucestershire Health and Wellbeing Board.
Read the final report, October 2019.
Campervan & Comments Tour 2019
Healthwatch Gloucestershire staff and volunteers took the roads of the county in March to find out what people think about local health and social care services.
Read more about what we did and where we went here.
End of Life Survey
As part of the End of Life Care Strategy being carried out in the county, Healthwatch Gloucestershire asked local people about they types of end of life support available for individuals over 18 years old both locally and nationally. They asked about non-clinical support i.e. not information about a specific illness or condition, but other types of information that would support people through the end of life.
Care Homes Strategy
Research consultancy Evolving Communities and the county’s independent health and social care champion Healthwatch Gloucestershire have been working in partnership with Gloucestershire County Council to gather the views of Gloucestershire residents aged 65+, on care home and domiciliary care provision in the county. The information gathered fed into a report that went to the Gloucestershire cabinet and fed into the Older People Care Home Strategy (June 2019) to help shape what care home provision looks like in the future.
Food & Families Project
Community researchers from Evolving Communities’ Food & Families project and staff from Healthwatch Gloucestershire asked Podsmead residents for their thoughts about all things food related as part of a wider project for Gloucestershire Public Health.