Find out what people in Devon think about proposals to extend health services to evenings and weekends.
NHS England has been making the case for seven day services for some time. Their report “NHS services – open seven days a week: Every day counts” (November 2013) says: “There is a compelling case for healthcare services to be accessible seven days a week, to avoid compromising patient care, safety and patient experience. Growing media coverage and evidence has highlighted how reduced hospital services at weekends can lead to higher mortality rates”.
What We Did
We ran a focus group, aiming to provide patient representatives with information about the seven day services national agenda, and seeking their views.
- Some people were keen to see services extended – particularly to help with things like hospital discharge, which can be difficult at weekends.
- There were also concerns about the availability of staff – not just nurses and doctors, but people like receptionists and cleaners as well.
- Looking at Devon in particular, the point was made that the county is a retirement destination. That means that people needing nursing and social care in older age are often a long way from family members in other parts of the country. This can put extra strain on health and care services, and should perhaps be recognised in funding for services in Devon.
- Transport was a real concern. The point was made that people who need evening or weekend appointments may not be able to get to them if buses aren’t running.
Our report has gone in to NHS Improving Quality, who are leading on planning for seven day services. Read our full report.