Primary and urgent care survey - general comments

Although the main theme of the survey is primary and urgent care, we asked the open question: “What one thing could we do to improve your experiences of local NHS services?”  We received over 4,300 comments.

There are some comments that related to issues other than primary and urgent care, such as management and co-ordination, experiences of hospital care.

Over 800 (18%) were spontaneous positive comments either saying that there was nothing that could be improved or some comment about the services that people had experienced.

I can't think of anything you can improve on, I am 91 years old and my wife passed away in March of this year at the age of 95. She had Parkinson’s and dementia, she wanted to die at home so I looked after her at home for 3 years or more and the help and care I got from the NHS was so good I can't say a bad word about it.

The NHS is superb so far as I am concerned.  I would gladly make a small monthly contribution to ensure we do not lose the NHS. NHS111 - phoned once and excellent service received.  A & E at Worthing hospital is an excellent service, I have used it 4 times

I already think we are very lucky in this area to have such a good medical centre in Pulborough and such excellent staff, from the receptionist through to the medical staff.

Nothing needs to change, I have used the NHS quite often over the past few years for a number of serious causes and I cannot imagine what life would be like without it. The NHS and its staff are second to none

When my husband had a TIA, I could not fault the care of ambulance crew, A&E at hospital, emergency floor and Broadwater, where my husband was a patient. 10 days excellent care and service

Church View at Shoreham is marvellous. My doctor calls me, the receptionist are very helpful and caring. I consider myself very lucky. If my doctor is busy the other doctors are all very nice (except one!). The nurses are very qualified.

Continue doing these questionnaires, and act on them. Although I believe the service you offer are good in caparison with Japan and Italy, where I lived for many years.

Please thank the dedication professionals whole service and commitment is appreciated so that they feel encourage even more.

When I was at the breast (clinic) they were very polite and understanding. very human and treated me nicely.       

[At our GP practice] an attitude should be emulated everywhere - one of kindness, understanding, patience and respect. The staff, all of them, from telephonist, receptionists, nurses and doctors is one of a considered professionalism with added kindness. In my view this prevents the frustrations and unhappiness of patients waiting to see already over wrought doctors. The management at the practice is of the highest standard and if it could be followed through elsewhere, this, in itself, would be an improvement.

People used terms such as:

  • ‘excellent care and treatment’,
  • ‘lucky to have the NHS’,
  • ‘outstanding’,
  • ‘satisfied’,
  • ‘caring’,
  • ‘hard working’,
  • ‘exceptional’,
  • ‘first class treatment’,
  • ‘wonderful’,
  • ‘excellent staff’,
  • ‘nothing but praise’,
  • ‘happy’,
  • ‘helpful’.

People drew on their experience of good care, and talked of surgeries or particular services that had worked well for them.

Table 7: Summary of issues: the one thing that could improve experience of local NHS services

N=4,306 Number of comments
GP appointments - problems accessing, not long enough, extended hours 1,652
Delay/waiting for hospital appointments/non - GP appointments 503
Good practice examples or statements 407
(Needing more) numbers of clinical staff 366
Continuity – need to see the same GP 295
‘Nothing’ 283
More information about services/opening hours 237
Management issues/bureaucracy more funding, investment 219
Customer care, food in hospitals, patient experience, dignity 195
Coordination, communication between agencies 167
Receptionist/triage 149
Waiting for GP appointments while there 146
More specialist services locally 141
IT digital 119
Complaint re: diagnosis/clinical 109

The issues that came up most frequently in the comments were around GP appointments: difficulties getting appointments, suggestions for extended hours, appointments not being long enough and not being able to get through to surgeries.  The second most cited issue was delays in getting secondary appointments or treatment. This included waiting for hospital referrals, treatment, test results and other services.

Other issues raised were: more training for staff, support for GPs, transport and parking, prescriptions, misuse of services by patients, desire for health promotion/checks, premises, discharge planning, home visits and communication problems.

Several practical suggestions were made for improvements (explored in the relevant sections below). There were calls for greater investment in the NHS, especially in clinical staff and a desire to reduce the number of managers/administrators in favour of clinical staff.

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