Healthwatch in Sussex today launch a report based upon public feedback on health and care services during the second COVID-19 lockdown in November and December 2020.
Healthwatch in Sussex recognise that this report is being released at a time of extreme pressure for the NHS in Sussex due to high rates of COVID-19 infection and hospital admissions. We acknowledge all the NHS and others are doing in response and believe our report findings can contribute towards building a better health and care system for Sussex now the peak of the current crisis has passed.
During Lockdown 2, Healthwatch in Sussex launched a ‘Tell Us – Ask Us’ campaign to encourage and support members of the public to:
1. Tell us about their experience of accessing health and care services during the lockdown, including when they chose not to access a service for any reason.
2. Ask us for clarification on what they can and can't do during lockdown, including accessing health and care services where guidance is not clear or accessible.
Key themes and issues:
- High Quality of Care,
- Lack of consistent communication,
- Poor access to GP services
- Poor access to Dentistry services
- Outpatient Hospital Services: good care but poor communication
- community services: Lack of time access
- Care Homes and Carers: visiting restrictions
- Emotional and mental wellbeing
- COVID-19 Vaccinations
Response from NHS Sussex Commissioners
We have and will continue to share the feedback captured in this report with the NHS, local authorities, voluntary sector and other providers to help them understand where things are working well and to identify any gaps.
The findings of this initiative were shared with Sussex NHS Commissioners who commented:
"We would like to thank Healthwatch in Sussex for this insight. The last year has been an unprecedented time for the NHS and it has been challenging in terms of the delivery of health and care services. It is encouraging to hear what has worked well but equally important to hear where we can do more to improve the patient experience.
"We will continue to work with Healthwatch in Sussex in order to demonstrate how the issues they have highlighted are already being addressed, and are present in our ongoing plans to ensure that the population of Sussex continue to be able to access safe and appropriate care."