Worcester News Article – 20th September

The Covid-19 pandemic has had a huge impact on the number of people currently waiting for hospital treatment locally and nationally. The number of people waiting in Worcestershire has almost doubled in the last year, with figures showing over 53,000 people waiting at the end of July. Although this will potentially increase even further, we understand that the NHS has a plan to tackle the issue. This includes initiatives such as a mobile theatre at the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch and prioritisation of those on waiting lists, which we are pleased to see, as our overriding concern is that patients do not come to further harm whilst waiting.

So be aware that the NHS is contacting patients on waiting lists to check they still need to be seen. If you are contacted by telephone or letter please reply, otherwise you may lose your place on the list. And if your condition deteriorates whilst waiting, contact your consultant or go back to your GP – it is important not to downplay the state of your health.

We offer an information and signposting service so if you are stuck and don’t know what to do contact us – it’s important to understand how the system works and we can help you with that. We would also encourage people to share their experiences of waiting for hospital treatment and appointments with us, in particular the communication you have received and the impact of the delay.

Healthwatch Worcestershire has a responsibility to monitor the performance of health and care services on behalf of local people. We focus on those issues where we think people may not be getting the service they should. Obviously this changes from time to time and at the moment we are taking a deeper look into how stroke services are delivered in the county and how good they are for patients. So, if you or someone you care for has recently experienced Worcestershire’s stroke services we would like to hear your feedback.

You can contact us by phone – 01386 550264 or email – info@healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk to share in confidence your experiences of waiting for hospital treatment and appointments, stroke services or any local health or social care service. You can also report feedback anonymously via the Tell Us page of our website www.healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk