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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.