Our report draws together findings from 20 publications and data sources and highlights increased demands on GP practices and Emergency Departments (A&E) in recent months.
- People experiencing delays in obtaining GP appointments going to A&E instead.
- There is low public awareness of alternatives to A&E, such as Pharmacies and NHS111 First.
- Public information about which services they should seek medical support from can be inconsistent and challenging to access or understand.
- Sussex NHS Commissioners are proposing changes to GP appointment systems, and better promotion of alternative services.
Healthwatch has made seven recommendations that respond to these issues. These relate to improved access for patients, clearer information on which services people can access and when, and ensuring consistency of signposting across the health and care system. These changes can help ensure that patients are able to access the support they need as quickly and simply as possible.
Our report has also been shared with the Sussex Integrated Care System (ICS) and members of the pan-Sussex System Pressures Task and Finish Group.
Healthwatch in Sussex (Brighton & Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex) will work with Commissioners to co-design messages which GP practices can use on their websites and on phone messages.
We will also continue to work in partnership with them and individual providers to monitor the experiences of patients and the public in accessing health and care services locally and explore how ongoing development may be delivered.
If you have any questions in relation to this initiative, or wish to leave your feedback on health or care services that you have used, then please get in touch with your local Healthwatch using the details below:
Healthwatch Brighton & Hove