Ealing patients 'frustrated' as they struggle to get hospital and doctor appointments

There was high praise for the NHS staff working in Ealing GPs and hospitals.

Ealing patients are growing “frustrated” at the lack of available GP and hospital appointments as the NHS continues to struggle. But those able to get appointments are increasingly positive about the nurses and doctors who treat them. 

Ealing Council’s Health and Wellbeing Board was told on Wednesday (January 11) that waiting times and access to GPs remained a problem for residents surveyed by Healthwatch Ealing. Daniel Norman, operations manager at Healthwatch Ealing, told the board that patients were frustrated that the situation was not improving. 

In the third quarter of 2022, 72 per cent of people reported negative feedback to Healthwatch Ealing when trying to contact their GP on the phone. Out of those waiting for hospital appointments, 58 per cent have something negative to say.

Mr Norman said: “These numbers are not too dramatically different from what we saw across 2022, but again the frustration is more at the fact it does not seem to be getting better, that it seems to be getting more of a hassle or chore are the words we see thrown around. But we can emphasise the positives around care and acknowledge the difficulties that it is taking some time to get that care.”

But those who are being treated are overwhelmingly positive about NHS staff giving them care. In GP services, 72 per cent of feedback about the staff was positive and in the hospitals, 90 per cent of people have been positive.

Mr Norman added: “Quality of treatment is 85 per cent positive and it’s been in the 80s throughout 2022 which is fantastic news and it’s great to see that people are happy with their care.”

He continued: “What seems to be the real challenge is around patient choice, it seems as if patients are having fewer ways to engage with their GP. They are being told they have to get repeat prescriptions online or that they have a video appointment rather than an in-person appointment and that tends to be where a large concentration of the negativity comes from.

“While I appreciate the challenges and difficulties, if patients feel like they are being forced into a situation or being denied a way to engage with their GP or hospital, then it is going to be a serious frustration and a highlighted negative.”




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