Column: Make sure you share your views on delayed hospital care

We are asking local people for feedback about their experience of waiting for hospital care in order to advocate for service improvements, says Helen Henderson-Spoors, chief executive of Healthwatch Derbyshire.

Monday, 27th September 2021, 1:08 pm

The Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in many people having their operations, treatment and appointments cancelled or delayed.

The NHS had to postpone non-urgent elective care treatment when the pandemic hit, freeing up inpatient and critical care capacity.

While this helped medical staff respond to the crisis, it has resulted in a huge backlog of people waiting for treatment.

Guest columnist Helen Henderson-Spoors, chief executive of Healthwatch Derbyshire, the county’s health and social care watchdog.

The latest data shows that the number of people waiting for routine operations and procedures in England is at its highest level since 2007 – currently at 5.45 million.

We want to hear from people who are in this situation to find out what advice, information and support they are receiving and feel that they still need while they wait.

People’s feedback – good and bad - will be kept confidential but will help service providers and commissioners to understand what needs to be put in place to better support people waiting for treatment.

We know that the impact of delayed treatment can be huge - potentially leaving patients in pain and affecting both their physical and mental health. It is therefore essential that while people wait for treatment, they get support to manage their health and wellbeing in a way that is best for them.

The NHS had to postpone non-urgent elective care treatment when the pandemic hit.

Everyone should also be kept informed about the dates of treatment and where they are on the waiting list.

We are part of the Healthwatch England network of over 150 local organisations across the country which has launched a national survey into the issue.

As an independent, statutory body, we ensure that health and social care leaders and other decision makers listen to feedback from local people and improve standards of care.

Please share your views via https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/SQVSJO/ and remember to specify what county you are from at the end of the survey so that Healthwatch Derbyshire can gain a better understanding of what support local residents need.

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