Joint statement from: NHS Gloucestershire Integrated Care Board, Gloucestershire Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Gloucestershire Health and Care NHS Foundation Trust

One Gloucestershire Health partners have today welcomed publication of Healthwatch Gloucestershire’s Report into Urgent and Emergency Care services and say it provides valuable insights which will be used to improve care and patient experience.

In a joint statement, partners said:

“With high levels of need and a record number of patients accessing services, this is challenging environment for our dedicated teams across primary, community and hospital services.

It’s very important to us that local residents are able to access the right services easily and experience timely, high-quality care. We recognise that currently too many people are waiting longer than they should and their experience of care could be better. We are determined to listen, learn and improve.

We welcome the report and appreciate the time taken to gather insight and set out the findings. We have provided an initial response to the report but will take time to consider it in greater detail and act on the recommendations.

The recommendations on accessibility are clear. We are grateful for the support from the public and partners in supporting positive change. A representative from Healthwatch Gloucestershire’s Board was recently invited into the Emergency Department to undertake a ‘15 Steps Challenge’ on service user and carer experience.

A number of the recommendations made in the Healthwatch Gloucestershire Report will be addressed through the ’15 Steps’ action plan and through other actions we have highlighted to improve accessibility.

Changes are being introduced to improve arrangements for assessment and support for patients with mental health needs in the Emergency Department at an early stage from the mental health liaison team and voluntary and community sector organisations.

Plans are also in place to provide a 24/7 mental health open access telephone service for routine, urgent and crisis referrals.

We are grateful for the suggestions on how communication across services could be more joined up to meet people’s individual needs.

As part of this, we are currently setting up a new local Integrated Urgent Care (IUC) Service in Gloucestershire to provide joined up advice, support and guidance from first contact through 111.

In terms of wider public information, we have already made great strides this year through our Click or Call First campaign, using a variety of channels to reach and guide people step by step through urgent care and raise awareness of individual services.

We will use the recommendations in Healthwatch Gloucestershire’s Report to enhance our approach, including joining up online content further across local organsiations.”

Key findings from Healthwatch Gloucestershire’s Report will feed into the One Gloucestershire Urgent and Emergency Care Transformation Programme (Working as One). One Gloucestershire’s Urgent and Emergency Care Clinical Programme Group, made up of health and care professionals and patient representatives, will be reviewing in detail all themes and recommendations highlighted in the report.

You can read One Gloucestershire NHS partners’ initial response to the Healthwatch Gloucestershire report in more detail here.

The full Healthwatch Gloucestershire report can be found here.