A roadshow which travelled almost 400 miles around Wiltshire to find out the views of local people on health and care services has finished its two-week tour with more than 1,000 views collected.
Staff and volunteers from the county’s independent health and care champion Healthwatch Wiltshire took to the roads in a classic 1969 VW campervan and parked up at various locations around the county to gather the views and experiences of people of all ages on health and care services.
The Campervan & Comments Tour, which was organised to reach people who may not have heard of Healthwatch Wiltshire before, collected 1,053 reviews and visited key locations all over Wiltshire including Malmesbury, Pewsey, Salisbury, Mere, Trowbridge, Marlborough, Westbury and Chippenham.
The most popular topic of conversation centred around local GP surgeries with mixed views across the county. Jenny from Melksham, speaking about her GP surgery at Devizes market, said: “I’m always very satisfied with the service – I can get an appointment easily and I’m well looked after there.”
But Pat from Bradford on Avon commented: “I have arthritis and ongoing pain, I’ve been with the same GP surgery since I was a child but the new automated appointment system is hard to use sometimes. The ring back isn’t working at the moment.”
And Tracey from Corsham commented about the consequences of delays in getting appointments: “I have been waiting for two months to see a Physio about my knee”. Her GP is writing a letter to say that the delay now means looking into possible hip and knee replacements.
Lucie Woodruff, Healthwatch Wiltshire Manager, said: “It’s been a great two weeks meeting people from all over the county and listening to their views. The role of a local Healthwatch is to make sure the health and care system meets the needs of the people who use it.
“The roadshow gave us the opportunity to get out there and meet as many people as we could to find out about their experiences. A big thank you to all our volunteers and staff who helped to make this possible and of course to all the members of the public who took the time to speak to us and share their views.”
The findings of the roadshow will now be complied into a report which will be shared with the decision-making organisations in Wiltshire – those that pay for and plan for health and care services in the county.
The services reviewed by the members of the public will also be inputted into a new ‘Rate and Review’ online feedback platform, due to be launched later this year on Healthwatch Wiltshire’s website.