West Yorkshire and Harrogate (WYH) Health and Care Partnership were asked to come up with a local plan explaining how the priorities in the NHS Long Term Plan will be delivered in our area, specifically a 5-year strategy. In order to make sure that this plan responds to what local people want, our six local Healthwatch organisations (Leeds, Bradford, Kirklees, Calderdale, Wakefield and North Yorkshire) were commissioned by Healthwatch England to find out local people’s views of priorities in the plan.
This piece of work was completed over 8 weeks, between March and May 2019. We gathered people’s views using two surveys and speaking with them at 15 focus groups. The surveys were completed face to face during outreach sessions with different groups and services in the West Yorkshire and Harrogate and Craven area, and were also available online.
- People want support from the NHS and its partners to make it easier and affordable to keep fit and eat healthily, as well as more pro-active support around weight loss.
- People are keen for more prevention of ill health through increased access to regular general check-ups as well as screening for specific conditions.
- People want the NHS to provide easier access to appointments, mainly with their GP but also with hospitals. Access to appointments was the single most mentioned theme (18% of responses) when people were asked what the NHS could do differently to help them stay healthy and well.
- Whilst the majority of people were in favour of having the option to access the NHS digitally, more than 500 people (41% of respondents) told us about barriers to using online services.
- 21% of responses mentioned education as being crucial to ensuring children and young people live healthy lives and have the best start in life. As well as education, early support was an area that people saw as key to children living healthy lives.
- Having more than one condition often makes it harder to get initial support, especially if you have non-physical conditions.
- People with mental health conditions are particularly likely to feel their ongoing support is inadequate because they have been given the wrong diagnosis or therapy.