We’d hap­pily spend a penny more if it would fund bet­ter health­care in city


Sunderland Echo - - News - By Echo Re­porter echo.news@north­east-press.co.uk Twit­ter: @sun­der­lan­de­cho

You’d be happy to pay more tax if it helped fund bet­ter health­care in Sun­der­land – but get­ting an ap­point­ment with your GP is still a strug­gle for many.

Those were key mes­sages from Echo read­ers when it came to dis­cussing healthre­lated is­sues as part of our Big City Sur­vey.

Nearly 1,000 of you took part in the sur­vey, which cov­ers a range of top­ics that af­fect our ev­ery­day life.

To­day we’re look­ing at the an­swers you gave us in re­la­tion re­cruit­ment and in­creased de­mands for ser­vices but in­sisted ex­tra ap­point­ment slots had been made avail­able on week­ends and evenings with plans to cre­ate more out­side of nor­mal work­ing hours next year.

In our sur­vey, we asked peo­ple how they thought about six state­ments.

To the state­ment: ‘I have strug­gled to get an ap­point­ment with a GP in the last year’ 25.23% of you strongly agreed and 21.85% said you agreed with that. 14.3% strongly dis­agreed and 22.5% dis­agreed with the com­ment.

When it came to den­tal work, the re­sults were re­versed.

To the state­ment: ‘I have strug­gled to get an ap­point­ment with a den­tist in the last year’ 33.68% of you dis­agreed and 24.2% strongly dis­agreed. Only 7.15% strongly agreed and a fur­ther 7.67% agreed.

To the state­ment: ‘I have strug­gled to get an ap­point­ment at hos­pi­tal or with a spe­cial­ist in the last year’ the re­sults were more even.

20.8% dis­agreed with that and 12% strongly dis­agreed. In con­trast, 15.7% agreed with the state­ment and 14.2% strongly agreed.

There was no doubt­ing your stance when it came to the idea of hav­ing more home-based health­care, how­ever.

To the state­ment: ‘We need more health­care at home/in the com­mu­nity rather than in hos­pi­tals’ 34.9% agreed and 21% strongly agreed. By com­par­i­son, only 4.55% strongly dis­agreed and 8.6% dis­agreed.

To the state­ment: ‘More money needs to be di­rected to­wards staffing rather than health­care ser­vices’ 28.1% of you agreed and 19.5% strongly agreed, as op­posed to 5.6% of re­spon­dents who strongly dis­agreed and 10.1% who dis­agreed.

The most re­sound­ing re­sponse came to the state­ment: ‘I would pay an ex­tra 1p in in­come tax to fund bet­ter health­care ser­vices’.

40.2% strongly agreed with that and a fur­ther 28.8% agreed.

Only 7.8% of you dis­agreed and 10.8% strongly dis­agreed.

Dr Fadi Khalil, clin­i­cal vice chair­man at NHS Sun­der­land Clin­i­cal Com­mis­sion­ing Group’s (CCG), said: “We have re­cently made ex­tra GP ap­point­ments avail­able dur­ing evenings and week­ends and will be look­ing to cre­ate even more ap­point­ments out­side nor­mal work­ing hours from next year.

“Na­tional sur­veys have been pos­i­tive in show­ing that pa­tients in Sun­der­land have higher than average sat­is­fac­tion lev­els with their GP prac­tices.

“In Sun­der­land, like the rest of the coun­try, we are fac­ing sig­nif­i­cant chal­lenges around GP re­cruit­ment and in­creased de­mand, partly due to an age­ing pop­u­la­tion and in­creased com­plex­ity.

“We have in­tro­duced a num­ber of schemes and we are strongly com­mit­ted to at­tract­ing newly-qual­i­fied GPs to Sun­der­land and sup­port­ing them in their work.

“For ex­am­ple, we launched a Ca­reer Start scheme for GPs, prac­tice nurses and health­care as­sis­tants, as well as be­ing part of the NHS clin­i­cal phar­ma­cist scheme, this has brought an ex­tra 45 pro­fes­sion­als into prac­tices.

“The schemes pro­vide ad­di­tional sup­port for newly qual­i­fied GPs to come to Sun­der­land, with ex­tra train­ing and sup­port to get es­tab­lished and de­velop ex­per­tise in a spe­cific clin­i­cal area.

“We also know we have a large num­ber of unattended ap­point­ments. We would en­cour­age the pub­lic to use their prac­tices wisely and make sure ap­point­ments are not go­ing to waste, please no­tify your prac­tice if you have made an ap­point­ment that you can no longer at­tend to free it up for an­other pa­tient.“

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.