On Monday, 19 March staff and volunteers from local Healthwatch across Merseyside will be revisiting A&E departments in the region and talking to patients about the reasons for their visit.
A local Healthwatch spokesperson said: “We hope the simultaneous visits taking place from 9.30am to 12.30pm will provide a snapshot of why people use A&E and what people think about things like quality of care and waiting times.”
The first joint co-ordinated event took place last July when the majority of people said they had gone to A&E on the recommendation of a health professional. A follow up was due to take place in January but was postponed due to increased winter pressures and the flu outbreak.
A&E departments have been regularly in the headlines with usage rising, departments getting more pressured, waiting times growing and frontline staff working hard to give the care people need.
NHS England chief executive, Simon Stevens, said earlier this month: “It is quite likely February will turn out to have been the most pressurised month the NHS has seen in its nearly 70 year history.”
The Local Healthwatch and A&E departments that will be involved are:
- Healthwatch Liverpool – Royal Liverpool and Alder Hey
- Healthwatch Sefton – Southport Hospital
- Healthwatch Knowsley – Aintree Hospital
- Healthwatch St Helens – Whiston Hospital
Maureen Kelly, Chair of Healthwatch Sefton, says: “It will be interesting to hear the variety of reasons why people attend A&E, especially as our fellow local Healthwatch are asking the same questions in different parts of Merseyside. And the information gathered will be fed back in to providers and decision makers to help get our care right.”
Healthwatch Sefton wants to hear from anyone else who has recently used Southport Hospital’s A&E department by completing a short online survey on our website. Visit www.healthwatchsefton.co.uk or call 0800 206 1304 for further information.