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Share your experiences of using GP services in the last six months

Healthwatch is undertaking a survey into the public’s experiences of using GP services, specifically in the last six months. Perhaps you can help by completing the survey?

 

Who is Healthwatch?

Healthwatch in Sussex is the local independent champion for people using health and care services in Brighton and Hove, East Sussex and West Sussex. They listen to what people like about services and what they think could be improved and share their views with those who have the power to make change happen. 

What issues are people facing?

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a huge strain on the NHS and also impacted how the public access health services. Staff at GP practices have been working hard to deliver the vaccine programme, catch up on the backlog of treatments and respond to new ways of working such as offering video and telephone consultations and providing online consultation software such as e-consult.

 

Healthwatch has heard that these new ways of accessing GP services have worked well for some people, allowing them to save time and get the help they need, quickly. But for others it’s been more difficult, time consuming and frustrating to access support when they need it.

How you can help

Healthwatch has already run a survey for GP staff to understand how their roles have changed during the pandemic, what practices do well, and what challenges they face.

 

Now they need to hear about your experiences of accessing GP services so they can help the NHS understand what is working well and what could be better, so that together solutions can be found.

 

Please help Healthwatch by completing our questionnaire https://www.smartsurvey.co.uk/s/SussexAccessingYouDoctorsSurgery/ and tell them about your experiences of accessing GP services in the last six months. They’d like your feedback on how you contacted your GP practice, how you booked an appointment and how your appointment went.

 

If you need this questionnaire in another format or version, please contact Healthwatch West Sussex

phone: 0300 012 0122

email: helpdesk@healthwatchwestsussex.co.uk

web: healthwatchwestsussex.co.uk The results of this survey will be collated and put into a report and shared with NHS services and organisations to help shape the way services are developed in the future. All feedback is anonymous.

 

The questionnaire should take no longer than 15 minutes to fill in. The closing date for the survey is Friday 31 December 2021.

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Health

Book a RNIB Mental Wellbeing Check-in Session

The RNIB is offering Mental Wellbeing Check-ins. These one off sessions are for community members with sight loss who would like to share feelings, explore coping strategies and any further support needs with a trained counsellor.

Sessions will address some of the feelings created by the current pandemic situation including anxiety and distress. To refer into this service please fill in the form online or call the helpline 03031239999.

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Health

Covid vaccine fraud advice

The Government has issued advice on how to avoid COVID-19 vaccination fraud.

According to gov.uk, criminals are using the COVID-19 vaccine as a way to target the public by tricking them to hand over cash or financial details. They are sending convincing looking text messages letting people know they are eligible for the vaccine or phoning people directly pretending to be from the NHS, or local pharmacy.

To ensure vigilance bear these points in mind:

The NHS will:

  • NEVER ask for payment – the vaccine is free
  • NEVER ask for your bank details
  • NEVER arrive unannounced at your home to administer the vaccine
  • NEVER ask you to prove your identity by sending copies of personal documents such as your passport. 

two screen shots; one of a phone with an email purporting to be from the NHS about a covid jab and the other showing a text message also with a message and a link regarding a Covid vaccination

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you receive a call you believe to be fraudulent, hang up. If you are suspicious about an email you have received, forward it to report@phishing.gov.uk.
Suspicious text messages should be forwarded to the number 7726 which is free of charge.

If you believe you have been the victim of fraud or identity theft, you should report this directly to Action Fraud either online at actionfraud.police.uk or via phone 0300 123 2040.

If you have any information relating to vaccine fraud you can stay 100% anonymous by contacting Crimestoppers COVID Fraud Hotline online: covidfraudhotline.org or phone 0800 587 5030.

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Health

COVID-19 vaccination programme guidance for Sight Support Worthing members

Two Sight Support Worthing Trustees recently attended a Vaccination Champions training session. The aim of the session was to educate its participants about how the COVID-19 vaccination programme works.

The following information is designed to help Sight Support Worthing members understand the COVID-19 vaccination programme and, in particular, any aspects that may be of particular relevance to those with visual impairment. This information has been interpreted by the two Vaccine Champions, and they have provided it in no particular order, although the point is in bold for anything believed to be especially important.

a. Everyone over the age of 70 is scheduled to be vaccinated by mid-February. Within the priority Groups, there is no specific order in which these people are contacted.

b. Patients will be contacted, usually by phone – you should not try to phone for an appointment yourself.

c. The second (of the two required vaccinations) will be up to 12 weeks after the initial vaccination.

d. The initial vaccine will take two weeks before creating an effective immunisation; normal COVID restrictions must be followed during that period.

e. All vaccines require a needle; nose sprays or other options are not yet available. If you have a needle “phobia” please make that clear when confirming the appointment so that you can be treated in a less public setting than might otherwise be the case.

f. The restriction “rules” do allow a family member or friend to transport you (or accompany you if it’s close enough to walk). That individual may be permitted to stay with the patient – but that is not always the case.

g. If you need transport, please contact the SSW office on 01903 235782 and either speak to a staff member or leave a message. We will do our best to  find a SSW driver regardless of the appointment day or time. We are here to help – please use us.

h. The Sussex NHS management team has recruited a number of “Vaccine Champions” with the aim of promoting the vaccination programme, providing a reliable source of information and being a contact point for any questions/problems. Sight Support Worthing has two of its volunteers, as well as one member and the charity’s President as Vaccine Champions. So, SSW is well placed to ensure that all its members (and others in the locality) are fully briefed about the Programme. If you would like to speak to one of the Vaccine Champions do let us know and we will do our best to put you in touch with one.

We hope this information is useful to our members and their families. If you have any particular concerns that you think we can help with, please do get in touch.