This Healthwatch Coventry report provides an insight into how the NHS are meeting the needs of the population and uses people's stories to highlight some of the issues rapid changes to NHS services have caused.
We focused on the time period between June 2020 and December 2020 as these were the months England was no longer in lockdown but restrictions on daily living to control the spread of COVID-19 were still in place.
What we did
We collected the information for this report in a few ways:
- We used the information people told us when they filled in online feedback forms
- We asked people to fill in a survey
- We also looked at the records we keep of the calls people make to our Information Line
This information was collected in an unstructured way, using open-ended questions. This allowed people to tell us their experiences in their own words.
By listening to the stories people told us, we were able to highlight some key issues that appeared to be affecting a number of people.
Within the report, we have made some suggestions to help services overcome these challenges and improve access for all.
- Difficulties contacting the service required – telephone numbers were incorrect or weren’t answered
- Unclear information was given by professionals
- Routine appointments were cancelled without explanation
Clear and accurate information about how to access key services wasn't always available
- Up to date and accessible information on how and when to access some emergency services was lacking
Some people liked remote appointments but for some people they felt they needed to be seen in person
Difficulties knowing who to speak to about cancelled outpatient appointments
Physical design of facilities
Some facilities were unsuitable for people who were waiting to be seen or were being treated
Redesigning layouts could disadvantage people with a disability
In terms of clinical staff, most of the comments were positive
People voiced more frustration with the work of non-clinical staff who weren’t able to give them the information they needed