The Big Health and Care (social distancing) Conversation

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Have you needed health and care services during the pandemic, and how was that for you? We'd like to know about your experiences, so we can tell what's working well and where we need to improve.

* Have you had a face to face hospital, GP, or other healthcare appointment?

* Have you had an online or telephone appointment?

* Are you waiting for an appointment/treatment that has been delayed due to the pandemic?

Share your stories and ideas, ask questions, or complete a 'Quick Poll' by clicking on the tabs below. Thank you, from your NHS and social care.

Have you needed health and care services during the pandemic, and how was that for you? We'd like to know about your experiences, so we can tell what's working well and where we need to improve.

* Have you had a face to face hospital, GP, or other healthcare appointment?

* Have you had an online or telephone appointment?

* Are you waiting for an appointment/treatment that has been delayed due to the pandemic?

Share your stories and ideas, ask questions, or complete a 'Quick Poll' by clicking on the tabs below. Thank you, from your NHS and social care.

The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way most health and care services were delivered almost overnight, and we want to know what it has been like for people who have needed to use our services, as well as for those who work for the NHS or social care locally.

Little things, good or bad, can sometimes make a big difference to our experience, so by sharing just a few lines to tell us how it was for you could make a difference to others in the future.

- What do you think has worked well, and what could have been better?

- What changes do you think we should keep, and what should go back to how it was?

- If you decided not to use health or care services, even when you thought you needed them, why was that?

And if you'd rather speak to someone than write, you can call our friendly Public Involvement Team on 01903 708411. Thank you!



We aim to respond to any questions within 5 working days. Please note we cannot answer any clinical or medical questions here.  

This is an opportunity for you to ask any questions about how care is being provided during the pandemic. Do you have any queries about your experiences of health and social care during this time?

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    The long term future of care is being debated. My question is what are the drivers for this? I am suspicious that the focus is on Hospital discharges and care homes getting funding for this rather than a complete overhaul of the health and social care interface.

    Andy L asked 8 months ago

    Dear Andy, 

    Thank you for your question. 

    The main drivers behind the transformation of health and care services are the need to:

    • Improve health outcomes and reduce health inequalities – preventing illness so that more people enjoy good health for longer, and life expectancy is not determined by where you are born.
    • Improve care quality and outcomes – so that people can be confident of receiving the very best care, in a timely way, wherever they are treated.
    • Improve people’s experience of care – so that care is convenient, supports people to remain independent and meets their individual needs and circumstances and those of their carers.
    • Ensure services are sustainable – so that care is efficient, makes the best use of available resources and is affordable for the long term.


    The government has been considering the long-term future of social care funding with proposals due to be set out in forthcoming Green Paper. Regardless of the funding arrangements, health and social care services must continue to work more closely together in order to achieve our aspirations for improved health and care as set out above.

    Being able to discharge people from hospital is one important part of this. Too many people are in hospital when they do not need to be. This is detrimental to their recovery and quality of life and means that hospital care is not always available as quickly as we would like for people who do need it. This is an area where joined-up working between health and care is already making a big difference, for example through integrated discharge hubs which ensure that the right out of hospital care is in place for people to be discharged and teams work together to make this as easy and seamless for the person receiving care

    We would like to be clear any transformation is not about adding greater pressure to one part of our system, for example care homes. Care homes are a vital part of the way we look after and support people in Sussex, but they need to be supported by the health and care services around them.

    There are also many other ways that health and social care are working together, for example through multi-disciplinary teams involving GPs, nurses, therapists and social care to provide packages of care to support people with long term conditions.

    To support this way of working, in Sussex, all the NHS organisations and the three upper tier local authorities responsible for social care are working together in partnership. In May 2020, the Sussex Health and Care Partnership became an Integrated Care System (ICS). This status, awarded by NHS England and NHS Improvement, means that as a partnership we will be able to progress further the collaborative ways of working that have been established over the last few years.

    There is more information about the plans for improving health and care services, and the drivers behind them, in the NHS Long Term Plan (www.longtermplan.nhs.uk­­).

    Best wishes,

    Isabel 

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    Is there a single point of contact that patients can email, phone, or text within the Eastbourne and Hailsham catchment area in order to ask any questions and seek genuine, proactive, responsive support with regard to GP access, mental health, COVID-19, safeguarding, immunizations, cancer, isolation, child health, social services or volunteer support availability? If so, what is it?

    The Lonely Man asked 8 months ago

    Thank you for your question. 

    There isn't one email for all of those inquires as they relate to health (provided by the NHS) and social care (provided by Local Authority). If your question is health related, we do have a contact us inbox in East Sussex esxccg.contactus-eastsussexccg@nhs.net 

    With best wishes,

    The EngagementHQ team

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    Hi, I would like you to ask people questions about their experience of: 1. the 'eConsult' services which surgeries are offering; 2. self-referral services (like the physio one below); 3. Surgeries and minor injuries. 4. Scheduled prescriptions.

    Chris Shaw asked 7 months ago

    Dear Chris,

    Thank you for your feedback. We will pass your suggestions on to the lead for the Big Health and Care Conversation 2020. Please feel free to tell us about your experiences of GP care using the stories section. 

    With best wishes,

    The EngagementHQ team

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    Thyroid patients who require liothyronine get a raw deal from the NHS. At least 200,000 patients in the UK require liothyronine to become asymptomatic and live the life they were meant to. Instead only 5,000 get liothyronine! This is a scandal in the making. I've lived 50 years without liothyronine, and I can't tell you how lovely it is to take it each day, and converse with life, instead of having to watch it pass me by. Hypothyroidism, and there are several flavours of this disease, runs in families, and the NHS could put better screening in for those babies when born, who have parents or grandparents with thyroid disease. If the standard treatment (thyroxine) does not work after one year of titrating doses, testing for other comorbidities, then there should be an automatic referral to an Endocrinologist. Some patients wait for 50 years to see and Endocrinologist (me), and this is just not good enough for the NHS who supposedly put patients at the heart of everything that they do.

    Louise asked 7 months ago
    We really appreciate you taking the time to message us about your concerns.
    Before Covid-19, the Sussex NHS Commissioners were working to align medicine formularies across Sussex. Unfortunately, this had to be put on hold because of Covid-19 and has meant that there are differing historical decisions, which will be prioritised in the coming months. We will be working closely with clinicians to ensure that all patients taking liothyronine are reviewed by a consultant NHS endocrinologist, and that shared care agreements will be put in place so that the appropriate patients are continued on the right medication for them.
    As we start to relaunch this work, we are holding the Big Health and Care (socially distancing) Conversation across Sussex so our population can tell us their experiences, ask questions and share ideas - we will add your views on liothyronine to this.
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    Will I come into contact with covid patients if I go to the GP?

    Des asked 7 months ago

    Thank you for your question Des. GP practices have worked very hard to ensure that all patients are kept safe during the pandemic. Patients will only be asked to go to the surgery if they do not have Covid-19 symptoms and have not come into contact with anyone who has displayed symptoms in the past 14 days. The practice will ask you a series of questions before inviting you to come into the surgery to ascertain whether you have any symptoms of Covid-19.

    At the surgery you will notice that there are strict social distancing rules in place and staff will be wearing (Personal Protective Equipment)  PPE (such as face masks).

     Anyone experiencing symptoms of Covid-19 who needs to see a GP will be referred to a "Hot Site" to be seen rather than their usual GP practice.

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    [This is just NickG testing the website.] if I need some physio on my shoulder, how do I go about it? Who do I ask?

    NickG asked 8 months ago

    Hi NickG

    Thank you for your question. 

    The Sussex MSK service offers a range of treatments for Musculoskeletal (MSK) conditions. You are able to “self refer” into this service which means you do not need to go via your GP practice. For more information please visit: https://www.sussexmskpartnershipcentral.co.uk/

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    Thank you for this opportunity for us to give input - are you involving/working with the NAPP (National Association of Patient Groups)?

    Lesley Bright asked 8 months ago

    Thank you for your question Lesley. We will be involving our local Patient Participation Groups. (PPGs). We want feedback from local people using our local services. NAPP is a national organisation so we do not have plans to involve them.