Since the implementation of the Primary Care Services (PCS) in Durham Dales, Easington and Sedgefield (DDES), data shows that these services were not being utilised in the expected way. The public were asked if they were aware of the current services, how they used them and involved them in the future development of these services. An Engagement plan was designed to ensure that all groups were reached.
Lead staff from the CCG met with rural Dales councillors in December 2017 where they were updated on the current use of the service. They were asked to share groups with the engagement team that they felt were a priority. These groups were added to the engagement plan.
As part of the engagement, Investing in Children (IiC) held three agenda days in the DDES area to engage with young people to gather feedback on how they would respond to common health problems, where they would go and what services they would use.
A survey was developed with the support of members of Patient Reference Groups to ensure the questions were clear and in plain English.
A two pronged approach to engagement was used:
- Patients who had used the PCS told us about their experience, they suggested how to improve the service, and if there was only one site in their area, how far they were prepared to drive to get there.
- We visited sites out of the DDES area such as Houghton and Hartlepool Primary Care Centre, Darlington Memorial Hospital and University Hospital of North Durham. At each of these sites we spoke to patients who were using these services.
We asked them if they were aware of their local services, if they weren’t we explained they could call NHS 111 to get an appointment on the same day if it was urgent
All of this intelligence was gathered through Survey monkey and a report was written for the Health and Wellbeing Overview and Scrutiny Committee informing them of patients’ views and how to further develop this service.
Additional consultation will begin later this year.