Charlbury People Speak Out on NHS Services
The West Oxfordshire Locality Forum's "Have Your Say" meeting in the Charlbury Memorial Hall on 15 November elicited wide-ranging views on Oxfordshire health services. Much of the success of the event can be attributed to the organisation and publicity provided by members of the Forum Steering Group who live locally.
People were invited to share their experiences with Steering Group members, and with staff from organisations that provided information stands. These included Age UK Oxfordshire, Carers Oxfordshire, Dementia-friendly Charlbury, the MS Society, the Lawrence Care Home, West Oxfordshire District Council and Healthwatch Oxfordshire.
Attendees also had the opportunity to write down their experiences. Of over 70 people who attended ?" from families with children to young adults and older people -- 31 chose to leave their contact details, 44 provided lengthy written submissions and 65 gave short comments. We believe that this is something of a record for this style of meeting.
Matters that were raised by many people included:
• A very good level of satisfaction with the health service provided generally, but some difficulty in accessing convenient appointments with a preferred GP
• Praise for the Minor Injury Units but concern that not enough people know what they offer
• There was much praise for consultant level treatment in all Oxfordshire hospitals, but some instances of sub-optimal aftercare. Complaints focussed on referral pathways that result in delays and possible deterioration of a condition. Many people had experienced problems with the appointments system.
• Transport to hospitals was highlighted as problematic: need to arrive very early to find a parking space or make a very complicated journey by public transport
• Treatment by NHS therapists was much appreciated, but often difficult to access in a timely fashion.
In general, there was much local appreciation of the health service, marred by some failures of communication. Many people felt that NHS professionals were being let down by faults in the system. The Steering Group was gratified that keeping well/prevention messages were well received at the event, with many people recognising the need to take responsibility for their health.
We warmly thank everyone who took part, and will ensure that the results are transmitted to Healthwatch Oxfordshire, to GP commissioners and to the Oxfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group. They were scheduled to discuss a summary of the comments at a meeting on Tuesday 20 January. People who left their email addresses at the event will receive a copy of the report.
Further "Have Your Say" public meetings are in preparation for Carterton, Eynsham and other centres.