Healthwatch reveals people’s health priorities for 2018 and urges them to share their stories
Over the last year, Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire has hosted engagement events in local libraries and shopping centres, as well as visiting local hospitals, GP surgeries and care homes to hear what people have to say about their experiences of health and social care services.
Nationally, the top five priorities people said that they would like us to look into further are:
•Mental health services (99 of 152 - 65%), with specific reoccurring issues notably Mental Health in Children and Young People
•Adult social care, including residential care homes or care at home - 77 of 152 (51%)
•Service changes, especially Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs) – 52 of 152 (34%)
•Hospital care, including discharge and A&E services - 48 of 152 (32%)
•Access to GP and dental services – 42 of 152 (28%)
Mental health was the top priority for the third year running. People raised this as an issue in 65% of areas. Care and support available to children and young people was the most notable concern. The lack of mental health awareness, early intervention and difficulty accessing effective and appropriate support were key themes.
Adult social care, particularly support for the elderly and their carers, has come a close second with local Healthwatch covering half of the country planning to do work on this issue in the next 12 months. This follows reports by Healthwatch into care homes and being cared for at home.
Third on the list are service changes, especially Sustainability and Transformation Partnerships (STPs), which aim to help make health and social care services more integrated and better at delivering tailored support.
With hospital care people told us that emergency care - getting to appointments and leaving hospital - can vary greatly. Specific reoccurring themes include discharge and emergency care.
With GP services, specific themes include access and extended hours. Poor access to primary care services has a knock-on effect, as long waits to be seen by a doctor or dentist can prevent people from receiving the right diagnosis, treatment or referral to specialist services.
This list of priorities will shape our work over the next 12 months. Last year, over 340,000 people spoke up about their experiences and shared their ideas with us. These views helped result in changes across England. In 2018, we want even more people to have their say.
We are calling people to contact their local Healthwatch and speak up about their ideas and experiences. We are launching a campaign to get more people to share their views about these and other issues.
If you have an idea that could help improve health and social care for you, a loved one or your community, contact us and #SpeakUp. No matter how big or small the issue, we want to hear about it.
Matthew Fawcett of Healthwatch East Riding of Yorkshire said:
“The more that people share their ideas, experiences and concerns about NHS and social care, the more services can understand when improvements are needed. That is why we are encouraging people to #SpeakUp in 2018 to help make services better for the people of the East Riding.
Imelda Redmond, National Director of Healthwatch England, said:
“We want to see all working in health and social care to make it their personal New Year’s resolution for 2018 to work with people as partners in designing the future of services.”
“Healthwatch helps improve care by making sure services hear people’s views - what is working for you and what is not. As we approach the 70th birthday of the NHS, if anyone has a story they want to share or an idea they think might help, I urge them to get involved and speak to their local Healthwatch.”