GPs are facing challenges regarding access to appointments for their patients, and many other health services offering immediate access, such as Accident and Emergency, or NHS 111, are struggling with demand.
In part, this can be due to GP surgeries and other health services working with a significant number of people who are routinely booking frequent appointments or presenting to emergency services, but who may be doing so when there is not necessarily a clinical outcome that would benefit them.
Why are we covering this issue?
Healthwatch Calderdale was approached by North Halifax Community Wellbeing Partnership to do some engagement work with people who make frequent use of health services, with the expectation that the learning could influence the way that GP practices deliver support to some of their most intensive service users in the future.
What did we do?
Individual patients were identified by the GP practices, and Healthwatch Calderdale undertook a small number of focused telephone interviews to get a better understanding of why and how people were accessing health services, which services they preferred to use and why, what self-care strategies people have used, how much they knew about local resources and support, and the barriers to improving their self-care strategies.