What changes do people want to make to local services in Essex?

With growing pressure on the NHS – people living longer, more people living with long-term conditions, and lifestyle choices affecting people’s health – changes are needed to make sure everybody gets the support they need.

The Government is investing an extra £20 billion a year in the NHS until 2023. The NHS has produced a Long Term Plan, setting out all the things it wants health services to do better for people across the country. For these plans to work, the NHS needs to shape local plans based on local needs.

In partnership with Healthwatch Thurrock and Healthwatch Southend, we asked people across Mid Essex what they would do to improve their local services via surveys and focus groups. More than 800 residents engaged with us and shared their views. The changes people from Mid Essex would like to see include:

  • 40% of individuals consider access to the help and treatment needed when they want it as the most important thing to help them live a healthy life. This was alongside improved appointment times at GP surgeries, access to information and quicker support.
  • There are several concerns around the level of consistency, whether it be regarding to the quality of care, locality of treatment, length of appointments, access to healthcare professionals or waiting times. It is apparent that available services and support vary across the different STP areas and residents are questioning why this is the case and how can services follow the same approach and systems to enable consistent care for individuals in the future.
  • When asked what would help retain independence at home and in the community, the need for continued support, home visits when elderly (replicate existing community care services to all areas of health care), access to information, home adaptations and follow-up advice following discharge from hospital (embed links to social care services and support to the patient’s pathway) or care were appearing the most in the answers.

The full report can be viewed here: LTP Report Mid and South Essex.