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Telephone and online appointments – Here to stay?
Earlier this year Healthwatch Shropshire asked people to share their experiences of accessing General Practice appointments and using their local Pharmacy. The report highlighted that people’s experiences varied widely and there was a lack of consistent information about services and how to access them. The report has now been published.
As a result of the pandemic many services across health and social care have changed how they are delivered and new ones have been developed. In order to offer services as safely as possible people have been offered appointments over the phone or online by video or using an online form. Healthwatch Shropshire is asking people to share their views and experiences of this new way of working.
Lynn Cawley, Chief Officer of Healthwatch Shropshire told us, ‘The changes that we have seen in the way patients attend some of their appointments because of Covid-19 are likely to be here to stay. We know that the NHS Long Term Plan commits to reducing face-to-face outpatient appointments by up to a third over the next five years.
We really want to know how patients have found these new methods so that we can ensure that the patient voice is heard as the new systems are extended across health care. We are asking people to contact us by phone on 01743 342183 or via our website www.healthwatchshropshire.co.uk where people will also find our General Practice report.’
Healthwatch Shropshire is the independent consumer champion for health and social care in Shropshire. It gathers the views and experiences of patients, service users, carers, and the general public about services including hospitals, GPs, mental health services, community health services, pharmacists, opticians, residential care and children’s services. It also has statutory powers that it can use to influence service provision by encouraging improvements.
Healthwatch Shropshire is one of a network of 148 Local Healthwatch in England. It is supported by a national organisation, Healthwatch England.
It has a team working in community engagement, plus a volunteer programme, a visit programme to health and social care premises and an associate membership scheme to involve the public in its work. It also has a signposting service to help people access health and social care services and support.
Healthwatch Shropshire also provides the Independent Health Complaints Advocacy Service (IHCAS) for Shropshire. The IHCAS service provides information, advice and, if necessary, can support people through the NHS complaints process.
Lynn Cawley, Chief Officer Tel: 01743 237884
4 The Creative Quarter, Shrewsbury Business Park, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY2 6LG
Tel: 01743 237884 Email email@example.com