In early 2014, we invited anyone who has ever needed urgent healthcare, recently stayed in hospital or who regularly needs to use healthcare services to a FREE ‘tea and chat’ session to talk about their experiences. These experiences were used to inform our review of local urgent care services and the development of our Urgent Care Strategy.
The sessions were open to anyone who:
• Has ever needed to access healthcare urgently or attended Accident & Emergency or a minor injury unit.
• Has recently been in hospital and wants to discuss their experiences about their stay and their discharge back home.
• Needs to access healthcare services often.
• Has ideas about things that would support people to stay out of hospital.
The kettle was on and there was even a slice of cake too….!
Around 25 people attended in total and many of these had long term conditions. They told us:
- investment in the workforce is important to ensure quality of care in terms of capacity, specialist and adequate care
- people want care to be patient centred by considering the individual’s circumstances and patient choice, with quality of care and communication seen as important in providing patient centred care
- access to treatment and services are restricted by lack of parking and spaces reserved ambulance services and the duration of waiting times
- people wanted better communication with patients and between departments and primary and secondary care
- emergency patient diversionary pathways infringes on patient choice and access for visiting relatives; unplanned care should be available locally without an appointment as access to adequate advice affects their decision to call an ambulance
- staff awareness, training and consideration for vulnerable groups such as dementia, mental health and learning difficulties is important when they are accessing services; the Butterfly scheme, patient passport and Learning Disability liaison workers were all cited as important elements to enable people with learning disabilities effective access of mainstream service
- people expressed strongly the need to recognise the importance of clinics and self-care education.
- self-management of conditions was generally supported but is dependent on relevant and accessible medication, advice, education and support
- there was a clear view that those with long term conditions who know their condition and what urgent care is required should have access to medication and treatment without having to go through the formal pathway