Worcester News Article – Monday 21st September

Many will have heard in the national media about difficulties people across the country have been experiencing in accessing testing for Covid-19. Both in terms of the length of time to book and access tests and the distances some people are being required to travel. People have reported similar experiences to us of this locally. We would welcome any further feedback you have about accessing testing, so please get in touch.

As cases of Covid-19 increase across the country, taking precautions to prevent the spread are as important as ever. We attended this month’s Worcestershire Outbreak Control Plan Engagement Briefing, which looks at how key messages are being communicated and how the county’s Public Health team can engage with different communities across Worcestershire.

Last week we had two meetings with Herefordshire and Worcestershire Clinical Commissioning Group. One was to discuss the feedback we have gathered in relation to accessing GP practices during the Covid-19 outbreak and the impact of changes that have been implemented as a result. The feedback we have received has been mixed. While many praised their practices for good and responsive care, others have raised concerns about communication, accessing appointments, effectiveness of diagnosis by remote consultation and issues around timing and privacy of telephone appointments.

We also met with the CCG to discuss their plans to launch an app library to provide health practitioners and patients with information about the variety of mobile phone apps to help manage health and wellbeing. We discussed the need for patients to be involved in giving feedback about how accessible the information and apps are and how they will be engaging with those who are not able or not comfortable in accessing the internet, as services become increasingly digitalised.

Our next Public Board Meeting will be held via Zoom on Thursday 8th October at 10am. We will be discussing all our current work and the reports based on the findings of our Covid-19 survey and our Learning Disability and Autism Covid-19 survey. More information will be available on our website in the week before the meeting.

Please get in touch to share with us in confidence your experiences of accessing local health and social care services – info@healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk / 01386 550264 or visit our website to report feedback anonymously – www.healthwatchworcestershire.co.uk