In February 2012 the Healthier Together programme commissioned a telephone survey to gain views about local hospital services in the South East Midlands. A total of 1,600 local residents from a representative sample of the local population, in terms of age, ethnicity and social classification, took part in the survey.
The aim of the telephone survey was to gather evidence about the views and attitudes of local people in relation to NHS hospital services so that this information could be used to shape the Healthier Together decision making process.
The survey found that:
People are very happy with the hospital services provided by in the South East Midlands region: three-quarters of people rate the services as ‘very good’ or ‘good’ overall.
The survey also found that across the region 78% people have had experience of hospital services in the last 2 years, either themselves or members of their immediate family. Consistently, these people rate the service more highly than those without such recent experience of it.
When asked about things the NHS does well the two top-mentioned aspects were ‘high quality of treatment’ and ‘caring/sympathetic/friendly staff’ among those who have used the service recently. The third was ‘short waiting times’.
When asked about things the NHS didn’t so well, over one third of people couldn’t think of anything to mention. Waiting times were by far the most mentioned issue (25%), with cost of car parking at hospitals in second place (11%).
86% of people go by car when travelling to use local healthcare services. The survey found that people in the more rural NHS regions of Bedfordshire and Northants are more likely to use their car than those in Luton.
When asked about aspects of the NHS that could change, waiting times was the most important issue, mentioned in 25% of all suggestions.
The results of the survey have provided the Healthier Together programme with valuable insight and feedback which has been summarised in this report.
No hospitals will close. Northampton, Kettering, Milton Keynes, Luton & Dunstable and Bedford will all continue to provide most local services
All five hospitals will have an A&E and maternity service
Our first priority is safe, sustainable, high quality services
Our recommendations will be based on clinical evidence and local need