The Government is investing an extra £20bn a year in the NHS until 2023. You can help decide how that money should be spent in your local NHS.
What would you do to make the NHS better in Wiltshire? How would you make it easier for people to take control of their own health and wellbeing? What would you do to make support better for people with long-term conditions?
Now is the time to share your ideas and experiences to help make local health services better for everyone in Wiltshire.
Have your say
We’re running two anonymous online surveys to gather people’s views. Fill them in to tell us:
What would you do to give people more control of their care?
- What would you do to give people better support?
Tell us about your experiences of support for cancer, mental health conditions, heart and lung diseases, long-term conditions such as diabetes and arthritis, learning disabilities, autism, and dementia, and what could make care better. If you need this survey in an accessible format, please get in touch.
What would you do?
'Patients are the experts'
Healthcare in Wiltshire will only work if people get to have their say – urges student Zoe Radford.
20-year-old Zoe, from Calne, said: “I have had personal links with people living with mental health issues, so I have a keen interest and experience of local health services. I think that mental health services in Wiltshire should be more publicly advertised as to where you can go if you are struggling with mental health issues as well as waiting times.
“By talking and listening to people who have been ill and used these services – you get fantastic knowledge and feedback about health services, which we will all have to use at some stage in our lives.
“Patients are the experts, each and every one of them has a story to share – whether that’s good or bad. I would encourage others to take part and make sure their voice is heard.”
Zoe, who is studying Architectural Design and Technology at Solent University, has helped looked after a family member who has had mental health conditions. Zoe was part of the Young Listeners volunteering programme which interviewed over 165 young people about health services in 2017. They reported to the Wiltshire Health and Wellbeing Board their findings and a pledge was made by local decision makers to cut down waiting times.
Photo: Tim Gander
'We need to speak up for those with disabilities accessing health services'
Healthwatch Wiltshire volunteer Anne Keat would like to see more consideration taken for those with disabilities accessing hospital services. She said: “My disabled son, Richard, spent several days in ICU at Great Western Hospital, Swindon, in December for a routine operation which sadly developed into sepsis and shock.
“The experience from a care point of view was very positive and nothing could be faulted. However, he was later sent an appointment for a special Nuclear Medicine scan. It was to start with an IV injection followed by a three hour wait while the injection took effect. All good you would think.
“However on arrival, no hoist was available for transfers and when one was located there was no staff member to operate it. So Richard was driven home very cross as you can imagine.
“What this illustrates is the general mindset about disability with no consideration about the difficulties they experience in general, but particularly around healthcare.”
'Help people with learning disabilities have their say on plan'
Healthwatch Wiltshire volunteer June Barnes would like to see people with learning disabilities have a voice within the local plans for the NHS Long Term Plan.
June, from Trowbridge, has family members and friends who are on the autistic spectrum and has worked closely with young people and adults with learning difficulties.
June said: “People with learning disabilities and autism need to be valued and respected as major contributors towards all meaningful improvements within all aspects of NHS care.
“I think health services should make their information much more accessible, whether through easy read literature and/or awareness training. Even understanding and awareness is needed in relation to some people needing more time to process information for example in a GP or hospital appointment.
“Across the whole spectrum of autism – as indeed with LD - key staff need training in how to support people appropriately and recognise issues such as sensory overload. This can really help if someone is feeling overwhelmed.
“My personal experience through involvement and observations is that services are very patchy as to what works well (although not brilliant), and what doesn’t work at all within services. It’s a long steep climb!”
Photo: Neil Munns
'Don’t complain from the sidelines when you have been given a microphone to speak up and see change!'
Married mum of two Heather Scorah (pictured with husband Chris and daughters Lydia and Abigail) developed late onset type 1 diabetes when she was pregnant with her second child six years ago.
She says she would like to see more money invested in GP surgeries to ensure less frequent visits to city hospitals which are over ten miles away with parking a huge issue.
35 year old Heather, from Warminster, said: “One of the issues for me as a diabetic is locality. It is really helpful when we are able to get consultant appointments locally rather than travelling to the main city hospitals. More local appointments for long term health sufferers would be great.
“For trips to the main hospitals parking is a huge issue. You are often unable to find any parking and so can be circling the hospital car parks for about 45 mins before you end up having to park in unmarked spaces risking fines. The parking charges are also excessive for regular patients that have to visit often.”
Heather has a daily long-acting insulin treatment, as well as short acting insulin with every meal or snack. She sees a diabetic consultant every three months and a diabetic nurse every four months. She also has annual eye checks and an annual foot check.
She continued: “Local GP care is also a major cause for concern. As a diabetic my hospital consultant has been amazing and the diabetic nurses from the main hospital are great but local care from my GP surgery has been difficult because they are so overstretched with so many patients needing care.
“Vital checks have been missed, I have had weeks at a time where I have been without critical medical provisions which has created anxiety as I have been unable to treat or monitor my diabetes. This has been contributed to by pharmacy issues.
“I would say to others that if you want to see improvements in your healthcare be prepared to be part of the solution and share positively your experiences and suggestions, don’t complain from the sidelines when you have been given a microphone to speak up and see change.”