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Your voice on health and social care
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This month we heard

These are the main issues you are telling us about this month

November and December 2016

During November and December 2016, we spoke to 96 individuals and organisations.

These are the main areas of concern that people or voluntary groups have been talking to Healthwatch Oxfordshire about:

  • Praise for GP and Oxford Eye Hospital
  • Concern at waiting times for terminations
  • Poor communication, both in hospitals at GP surgeries
  • Long waits for musculo-skeletal and physiotherapy services
  • The merger of some GP surgeries
  • Dissatisfaction with GP triage system
  • Praise for treatment at Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre
  • Difficulty in obtaining appointments, both at GP surgeries and at John Radcliffe Hospital
  • Difficulty in accessing mental health services
  • Lack of support for patient with learning difficulties when using 111 service
  • Dissatisfaction with aspects of service at the Oxford Eye Hospital
  • Concern about the HART service
  • Concern at travel times between Oxford and Banbury to access services.

If you have something you would like to tell us about health and care services in Oxfordshire, please contact us at hello@healthwatchoxfordshire.co.uk or 01865 520520. Alternatively, click on this link
to share your experiences.

October 2016

 During October 2016, we heard from more than 70 people, and four organisations. These are the main areas of concern that people or voluntary groups have been talking to Healthwatch Oxfordshire about:

 Healthcare

Hospitals

General

  • Concern at waiting times for appointment for pregnancy termination;
  • dissatisfaction with five-month wait for muscular skeletal and physiotherapy appointments;

Churchill Hospital

  • Patient unhappy with waiting times for consultation at Churchill Hospital;
  • concern at lack of availability of hoists for outpatient appointments;

Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre

Praise for treatment at Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre; praise for Oxford Centre for Enablement;

Wallingford Community Hospital

Patient unhappy with treatment at Wallingford Minor Injuries Unit – staff courtesy;

John Radcliffe Hospital

  • Dissatisfaction at several aspects of elderly relative’s care;
  • patient unhappy at difficulty in obtaining urology appointment; dissatisfaction with several aspects of care on one particular ward;

 GP Surgeries

  • Praise for numerous surgeries including Manor Surgery, Montgomerie House Surgery, Manzil Way Surgery, Berinsfield Surgery.
  • Concern at charges for some letters and certificates; complaints at receptionists acting as ‘barrier’ between patient and doctor.

 Mental Health Services

Continued concern at difficulties in accessing mental health services.

If you have something you would like to tell us about health and care services in Oxfordshire, please contact us at hello@healthwatchoxfordshire.co.uk or 01865 520520. Alternatively, click on this link
to share your experiences.

September 2016

During September 2016, we heard from more than 40 people, and four organisations. These are the main areas of concern that people or voluntary groups have been talking to Healthwatch Oxfordshire about:

Healthcare

Stroke services:

  • Concern around a lack of a stroke recovery service for people in Oxfordshire.
  • Concern over Inequality between Oxfordshire and other counties in stroke services provided- less support in Oxfordshire.
  • Talking Space plus- main type of support is talking on the phone, which does not meet the needs of people who have had stroke and have communication difficulties.

Mental health services

  • There is a real lack of support for adults with mental health needs. People experiencing long waits for complex needs services.
  • Concern that provision of mental health services for students at universities in Oxford not satisfactory- College nurse/college counsellor so low key, most students wouldn’t know who they are.
  • Threshold to access CAMHS and PCAMHS is very high and there are very long waiting lists.
  • Specialist services within CAMHS provide excellent service but are hard to access.

Hospitals

  • Praise for Oxford Centre for Enablement at Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre
  • Concern from volunteer drivers that access to the John Radcliffe was now extremely difficult. This is also making it difficult to recruit more volunteer drivers.
  • Complaint from person who said the medical staff at the John Radcliuffe were unable to access the GP records of her mother who had been admitted for surgery as they had not been sent on.
  • Complaint that elderly patient had been discharged from A&E (after being admitted for an infection) at 6am on a winter’s morning with no coat. Although the patient was being discharged into the care of family, they felt that, while acknowledging the pressures on A&E, it was “inappropriate”,
  • Deer Ward at Abingdon Hospital described as  ”excellent”.

GP surgeries

  • Praise for Goring & Woodcote Surgery, especially District Nurses.
  • Praise for Bampton Surgery.
  • Concern that referrals from GP surgeries to counselling service may not always provide the patient with the best service for their condition.
  • Concern over waiting times for appointments in Kidlington.

NHS 111

  • Complaint from family of a patient with dementia that NHS 111 refused to send an ambulance, prompting family to call 999.

 

Social care

  • Plea from organisations for better communication when receiving referrals from social services, as accessing staff to discuss a referral can be very difficult. It is hard to reach named individuals responsible for cases partly due to staff turnover.
  • Feeling that statutory services expect voluntary sector organisations to use volunteers to fill in gaps in statutory services and expect volunteers to do the work of paid people.
  • Feeling that voluntary sector organisations are used as an exit strategy- statutory sector organisations refer people to them to as a stop gap or to be able to close case.
  • Praise for care navigators in Oxford as brilliant and social prescribing as “such a good idea” as it can help alleviate loneliness and deliver joined up care.
  • Criticism of a needs of care assessment carried out on complainant’s elderly relative, which was not thought to be done adequately or respectfully.
  • Complaint that elderly patient’s cancer medication had been delivered by courier at a weekend, causing confusion and anxiety.

If you have something you would like to tell us about health and care services in Oxfordshire, please contact us at hello@healthwatchoxfordshire.co.uk or 01865 520520. Alternatively, click on this link
to share your experiences.

 

August 2016

During August 2016, we heard from more than 30 people, and two organisations. These are the main areas of concern that people or voluntary groups have been talking to Healthwatch Oxfordshire about:

Healthcare:

Hospitals

A&E: Family with young child said they had a stressful experience when they suspected had a broken bone. Very poor communication, care not tailored to individual child. Also unhappy with treatment in Trauma Unit.

Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre: Positive feedback from patient who has had two knee replacements and felt he had experienced good support and made a quick recovery. Another person described their experience as “fantastic” after a shoulder replacement. Patient spoke about the basic compassionate care being good but noted that the physiotherapist concentrated on the various limbs that were being treated rather than making eye contact

 Community physiotherapy: Concern that there are long waits for people with neurological conditions who need to access community physiotherapy

Ambulance Transport: Wheelchair user reported finding it difficult to get through to the service by telephone – calls not answered, messages not returned, calls put on hold etc. The patient described the experience as “frustrating”.

GP surgeries

Moorland House surgery, Wheatley:  One report of the service being “fantastic” Another report of the waits not being “too bad”.

The Rycote Practice, Thame: one report of the service being “wonderful”.

 Dental surgeries: Report of the Westbridge Dentist Practice in Cowley being “Very Good”. Another report from a resident in Thame that they could not access an NHS dentist within five miles for treatment now, and two-year waiting lists.

 Social care:

Children’s centres: Deep concern about their loss and what that means for vulnerable parents as a valuable source of support will be lost for them.

Day centres: Concerns about the loss of these centres as support for people with neurological conditions. 

If you have something you would like to tell us about health and care services in Oxfordshire, please contact us at hello@healthwatchoxfordshire.co.uk or 01865 520520. Alternatively, click on this link
to share your experiences.

July 2016

During July 2016, we heard from more than 150 people, and one organisations. These are the main areas of concern that people or voluntary groups have been talking to Healthwatch Oxfordshire about:

 GP Surgeries:  Numerous concerns about difficulties in getting past receptionists and call-back system not always working. One caller said that because of having to pass messages on to the GP through the reception team, “the receptionist is managing my health”; praise for many GP surgeries throughout the county; concerns over triage system at some surgeries. Call for better information concerning IVF eligibility; criticism that patients are having to wait despite having early-morning appointments.

Social Care

Direct payments – complaint that service needs to be simpler, quicker and more streamlined.

Social Services: Caller praised care provided for elderly grandparents; calls for more continuity of care; calls for parity in the standard of care for adults and children.

Charities: Praise for Autism Family Support; widespread praise for Children’s Centres.

 Healthcare

Early years: Criticism of breastfeeding support at John Radcliffe Hospital; praise for Infant and Parent Perinatal Service; praise for health visitors.

Mental health: criticism of lack of support available at weekends; criticism of time taken to obtain mental health support for a family member; praise for services in Banbury, Complex Needs Service and Elms Centre; call for more community mental health support; call for more activities at Warneford Hospital.

Health Visitors: praise for Health Visitors, particularly Long Furlong in Abingdon, and Horsefair and West Bar in Banbury.

Hospitals

Witney Community Hospital: Praise for Witney Minor Injuries Unit, described as “always brilliant”.

Horton Hospital: Concern over possible loss of Consultant-led service; praise for Horton Midwives; wife of patient with dementia had felt that she had not been treated with compassion by ward staff when she wanted to remain with him during his stay.

Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre: praise for treatment at NOC, especially clear manner in which treatment options were explained; call for better training of auxiliary staff after negative experience on ward.

John Radcliffe Hospital: Praise for Silver Star unit and Special Care Baby Unit, whose staff were described as “supportive and kind”; patient travelling from Banbury to JR had been unable to find assistance in claiming fares back; criticism of space available for parent to sleep at the Children’s Hospital; patient felt that she should not have been called for an ultrasound scan during Ramadan; patient critical of the discharge process.

Churchill Hospital: Complaint that patient had picked up infection on renal ward. Diabetes services described as “marvellous”.

Dentists: Three practices singled out for praise – Buttercross (Witney), Ock Street (Abingdon) and Bloxham. Criticism that some procedures and interventions are performed even though they are not necessary;

Post-natal services: Gap in support available to women in post-natal period; concern at lack of support available for older professional mothers, who may feel isolated and may not want to ask for help; criticism that Health Visitor service is too focused on the baby with not enough attention to the mother’s wellbeing; various mental-health related concerns reported regarding new mothers.

Family Planning clinics: Call for clinics to be better-publicised so that people are aware of their existence and can access discreet service without embarrassment. 

If you have something you would like to tell us about health and care services in Oxfordshire, please contact us at hello@healthwatchoxfordshire.co.uk or 01865 520520. Alternatively, click on this link
to share your experiences.

 

June 2016

During June 2016, we heard from approximately 65 people, and one organisation. These are the main areas of concern that people or voluntary groups have been talking to Healthwatch Oxfordshire about:

 GP surgeries:

  • Problems with repeat prescriptions;  concern over new appointment system at one practice which requires waiting for a call back; lack of breastfeeding support from GP; praise for Luther Street Drop-in, Bury Knowle Health Centre and Deer Park Medical Centre.

 John Radcliffe Hospital

  • Long waits for cardiology appointments (four months); poor communication between hospitals and GPs, especially with regard to access to x-rays taken in trauma clinic; Respiratory Clinic at JR praised; two positive reports from the Oxford Eye Hospital.

 Turning point- substance misuse recovery service

  • Criticism of post-rehab aftercare.

 Mental health services

  • Real concern over loss of support services and peer support services from Mind in Bicester; not enough supported housing available for people with mental health problems; inconsistent quality of adult mental health teams across county; inadequate support for patient discharged from hospital; materials needed for carers to support patients after discharge; dismissive attitude of some GPs towards people with mental health problems; positive feedback on Fulbrook Centre and CAMHS services, despite long wait for latter.

 Blewbury Parish Council

Detailed feedback from village of around 800 homes, approximately four miles from Didcot where the medical centres serving the village are located. 

  • Surgery in Blewbury is only open two days a week so emergency appointments have to be made in Didcot, with possible transport problems; difficulty in accessing Oxford hospitals; parking problems; criticism of prescription delivery system, which has recently become much more complicated.
  • Villagers would like:
    • Use of facilities at local health centres and hospitals in Didcot, Wantage and Wallingford for clinics to ease travel problems;
    • Support for ocal health centre to facilitate its periodic use of the surgery in the village for tasks such as minor ailments, phlebotomy etc
    • A rapid return to the system where patients are able to collect prescriptions from the village surgery.

NHS 111

  • A call to 111 described as helpful and reassuring.

Social Care

  • Criticism of social worker regarding son’s care and reluctance to listen to family.

If you have something you would like to tell us about health and care services in Oxfordshire, please contact us at hello@healthwatchoxfordshire.co.uk or 01865 520520. Alternatively, click on this link
to share your experiences.

May 2016

During May 2016, we heard from approximately 45 people, and three organisations. These are the main areas of concern that people or voluntary groups have been talking to Healthwatch Oxfordshire about:

GP surgeries – praise for surgeries in Abingdon, Wallingford and Witney; some complaints about receptionists; issues surrounding poor communication between GP surgeries and other service providers such as community hospitals; concerns over waiting times.

 Pharmacies: Problems concerning repeat prescriptions and shortage of stock; delays caused by smaller pharmacies referring prescriptions to larger branches.

 Social services: Staff at the Citizens Advice Bureaux are seeing clients who have mental health problems but are unable to get the support they need and feel there is a real lack of support for people with mental health difficulties; two complaints concerning lack of compassion by social work teams.

 Mental health services: Concern over lack of services in the south east of Oxfordshire – problems include poor public transport and the need to travel further afield to places such as High Wycombe;  praise for the complex needs service, concerns about the difficulty in car parking at the Wallingford GP surgery where the adult mental health team is also located adding to the anxiety of people using the services; concern over lack of services in Bicester following the closure of the Julian Centre.

 John Radcliffe Hospital: Difficulty in bringing forward appointment with neurology; numerous concerns around the Oxford Eye Hospital, including administration errors, lack of access, and lack of information for patients; praise for speech therapy service, complaints about condition of toilets on Levels 3 and 7, long waits in A&E department.

 Churchill Hospital: Several comments concerning parking and public transport, especially for those travelling from outside Oxford; praise for radiology staff.

 Talking Space: Concerns over access to the service and communication, which could be improved by improved information.

 Hospital transport: Praise for service but concerns over the length of time in advance appointments have to be booked.

 General communication problems: why services cannot communicate with each other to avoid people having to go through their details with every initial assessment; also why the hospital departments do not speak to each other to ensure a more fluid care pathway for the individual rather than being treated for each separate condition rather than in a holistic manner.

If you have something you would like to tell us about health and care services in Oxfordshire, please contact us at hello@healthwatchoxfordshire.co.uk or 01865 520520. Alternatively, click on this link
to share your experiences.

April 2016

 During April 2016, we heard from approximately 50 people, and five organisations. These are the main areas of concern that people or voluntary groups have been talking to Healthwatch Oxfordshire about:

  • Poor communication – letters arriving after appointment dates, unanswered telephones, miscommunication by and between hospital departments.

  • Delayed discharges owing to waits for prescription drugs.

  • Too early discharge – people discharged without adequate care package in place.

  • Parking – Lack of provision and cost.

  • Lack of compassionate care –accounts of nursing staff who have not demonstrated compassion or concern and stories of patients not being given adequate pain relief and “overlooked”. People have expressed to us their concern about people who do not have family or friends to “advocate” for them, and referred to “a constant battle to get basic care”.

  • Cleanliness - unclean hospital ward and toilets at the John Radcliffe Hospital.

  • Mental health services - Long waits for mental health support and lack of one-to-one support. Mental health services and GPs not understanding OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder).

  • GP surgeries - long waiting times for GPs – also complicated telephone menus can make getting through difficult for people with memory problem, particularly in the north and west of the county, Also praise for a responsive Oxford GP for helping patient access hospital care quickly.

  • Health provision - concern about health provision for new housing estates.

  • Support services - concerns over funding for support services for people who have experienced sexual abuse, particularly men. For more information visit www.cleanslate.org.uk or email office@cleanslate.org.uk or telephone 01869 232461.

  • Advocacy - An advocacy service exists for people aged over 50 who have been diagnosed with cancer, but not enough people are being referred to by their GP to this free service. The organisation asked how GPs can be made aware of the service. Greater awareness in general is needed.

  • Talking Space -  Frustration that Talking Space does not cater for people who are dealing with the physical and mental health consequences of historic sexual abuse like post-traumatic stress disorder. Also the limit of six sessions offered by Talking Space is not felt to be long enough for some people to be able to deal with some complex mental health issues.

  • Dementia - concerns at possible loss of specialist day services for people with dementia because of budget cuts.

  • Children’s Centres - continued concern over proposed closures.

If you have something you would like to tell us about health and care services in Oxfordshire, please contact us at hello@healthwatchoxfordshire.co.uk or 01865 520520. Alternatively, click on this link
to share your experiences.