Tag Archives: Healthwatch East Sussex

Report highlights your views on accessing health and care services in East Sussex

Almost 500 of us have had our say on what we like, and sometimes found frustrating, about accessing health and social care services in East Sussex.

The thoughts and opinions of residents have been published in a report by Healthwatch East Sussex following its ‘2022 Listening Tour’ event in Eastbourne.

The report details everything you told Healthwatch during its first face-to-face ‘Listening Tour’ since 2019. It also sets out conclusions and recommendations to support positive change in our health and care services.

Healthwatch East Sussex worked with community groups to capture ‘every voice’ to better understand how health inequalities are impacting people in the county.

People gave their views through surveys, focus groups, one-to-one conversations and dedicated events last October.

Healthwatch East Sussex found that:

  • People’s appreciation of the NHS was clear, with positive examples of support, advice, treatment and procedures. We heard numerous examples of the expertise, professionalism and compassion of staff in the NHS and wider health and care services, as well as staff and volunteers in local community groups.
  • Common frustrations were waiting times, delays and poor communication. Nearly a third of 390 survey respondents were ‘Unsure’ and 7% were ‘Not Confident at all’ about accessing health and care services when they need them.
  • Some health and care services were not easily accessible to those with disabilities or impairments.
  • Specific user groups, such as the homeless or migrant communities, faced barriers when accessing health and care.
  • There’s a lack of understanding among the public about who provides care services locally and the responsibilities of different organisations in commissioning and delivering care.
  • The cost-of-living crisis is having an impact on people’s wellbeing, with just over half of survey respondents more anxious about the future and a third having less ‘good quality’ sleep than before.

Successful Listening Tour will inform positive changes to local services

Findings from this year’s Healthwatch East Sussex 2022 Listening Tour are being collated and will be used to support positive changes to local health and care services.

The organisation heard from 489 residents about local services across Eastbourne via surveys, focus groups, interviews, pop-up stands and events such as the Launch Event and Big Health and Care Question Time.

Some of its key findings include:

  • The challenge of accessing GP and dentist appointments
  • Anxiety around the cost-of-living crisis and what’s to come
  • Accessibility for disabled residents
  • The public and patients highlighted their appreciation for the professionalism, care and dedication of health and care staff
  • Gaps in Mental health support within the homeless community
  • The use of heteronormative language in health and care settings
  • Lack of knowledge around rights among refugees

The organisation said that by speaking up, residents were helping to change services for themselves and many others.

They thanked everyone who shared their feedback and experiences during the Listening Tour, and all the organisations and community groups that they worked with during the tour.

Healthwatch will use the feedback it received during the two-week programme of engagement activities and events in October to make recommendations to support future health care plans.

These recommendations will be shared on its website and social media, so keep an eye on these sites for any update over the coming months.

For general Listening Tour enquiries please contact Anna Hoad, Community Engagement Officer via enquiries@healthwatcheastsussex.co.uk or call 0333 101 4007.

To share feedback on health and care services in East Sussex any time, visit the Healthwatch East Sussex Feedback Centre.