Research Reports

Primary Care Patient Experience Study, 2019

This report examines the experience of local primary care, with a focus on GP services, mental health, diabetes and respiratory disease.

Annual Event: The Power of the People 2016

Read the report from the event, including key principles for good public engagement in Waltham Forest!

Our Annual Event was very well attended by over 80 local residents, voluntary and community organisations, service user representatives and health and social care professionals.

We would like to thank our volunteers, board members and staff who helped make this event a success, and are very happy to have received a lot of positive feedback from attendants!

GP answerphone and website mystery shopping 2015-2016

We carried out Mystery Shopping of Waltham Forest GP practices’ answerphones and websites from December 2015 to September 2016. We wanted to know if they were correctly advising people how to seek treatment and make appointments when the surgery was closed.

We were particularly interested in whether information had been adapted to local service changes, such as the new Extended hour GP surgeries. We also wanted to see whether websites were easily accessible.

3 key recommendations were made on how local GP’s answerphones and websites can be improved to provide the public with helpful and up to date information.

1. CCG should issue guidelines for GP Answer machine messages.

2. All GPs should be regularly updated about local changes.

3. GPs should comply with the Accessible Information Standard.

Small Grants Project Summary Report

Small Grant Projects: Findings from Community Involvement Events on Health and Social Care issues
In November 2016 we invited applications from voluntary organisations and community groups based in Waltham Forest who were interested in running involvement activities with their community. The purpose was to engage local organisations and support them to run projects which would help them get to know their service users better, understand their health & social care priority areas, and ensure the voices of their community can be heard. We were looking to empower community groups to work with their service users and explore their own key topics within health and social care.
East London Out project, the Disability Resource Centre, Significant Seams, and Waltham Forest Carer’s Association ran engagment projects and submitted reports.
Small Grant Projects: Findings from Community Involvement Events on Health and Social Care issues

In November 2016 we invited applications from voluntary organisations and community groups based in Waltham Forest who were interested in running involvement activities with their community. The purpose was to engage local organisations and support them to run projects which would help them get to know their service users better, understand their health & social care priority areas, and ensure the voices of their community can be heard. We were looking to empower community groups to work with their service users and explore their own key topics within health and social care.

East London Out project, the Disability Resource Centre, Significant Seams, and Waltham Forest Carer’s Association ran engagment projects and submitted reports.

We have written up a summary of their findings and recommendations. We have written up a summary of their findings and recommendations.

Talking to Looked After Children and Care Leavers; health services and transition

The purpose of this piece of work is to capture the voice of the Looked After Children (LAC) and Care Leavers in Waltham Forest to ensure that Waltham Forest Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), in redesigning services, obtains the right provision of health services that are responsive to their needs, aspirations and preferences.

With special thanks to the young people who shared their experiences with us and the partners and colleagues who helped recruit participants.

People’s Experiences of Primary Care 2015

The Healthwatch network spoke to over 11,000 people about their experiences of primary care and found that, while people are generally very happy with the quality of their care, many people face a number of common problems accessing GP services. To get a deeper understanding of people’s experiences, we spoke to a number of patient groups, including people who are Deaf and hard-of-hearing, migrants, students, mothers of young children and over-65s.

Of the seven focus groups, two were hosted by Healthwatch Waltham Forest, one for our Deaf residents and one for Pakistani Women’s Community. You can read the summary and the full report below.

Talking to children, young people and parents, November 2015

From January – May 2015 Healthwatch researchers Berni Graham and Rehana Malik carried out interviews and focus groups capturing the views of children, young people and parents from across the borough. With a particular focus on those from minority groups, and within that people from Eastern Europe, we spoke to 362 people in total. Twenty-six focus groups and three interviews with parents, children and young people took place. In addition we met with a range of health and social care professionals whose views are also featured in the report.

Annual Event: Caring About Care Homes Oct 2015

On 6 October 2015, Healthwatch Waltham Forest held its 2nd annual event, ‘Caring About Care Homes at the Waltham Forest Assembly Hall. This report covers some of the key points that were discussed at the event, including our work with care homes in the borough, the key learning from the group workshops. The report also includes the event evaluation.

To provide accessibility to the deaf and hard of hearing community, there were speech-to-text report (STTR) writers available to annotate what was said onto a projector screen for the audience to read. Most of the notes below are taken from this transcript. Whilst they may not be grammatically correct, they will give you an insight into the discussions that took place

Talking with the homeless community in Waltham Forest, June 2015

During 2014 Healthwatch Waltham Forest worked with two local organisations – Turning Point and PL84U-Al Suffa – to better understand some of the health and social care issues faced by their client groups. Together we decided to explore these issues in more detail by bringing together services users from the homeless community in a series of focus groups. Two focus groups took place, one at PL84U-Al Suffa lunch club on Monday 20th April 2015, and a second at Turning Point in Beulah Road on Wednesday 22nd April 2015. In total 50 people attended and spoke to us about GP Access, A&E at Whipps Cross Hospital, Mental Health services at Whipps Cross and in the community, Ambulance services, Pharmacies, Opticians and Dentists.

The report details the discussions that took place in those focus groups, and includes a list of suggested improvements for commissioners and providers to consider.

Young People Sexual Health Services Report, Jan 2015

On 7th January 2015 seven young people took part in a discussion with the Local Authority Public Health team around proposals for a young people specific sexual health service in the borough. This report is a write up of those discussions, reflecting the comments and views expressed by young people on that day.
Healthwatch Waltham Forest worked with the boroughs Young Advisers and Youth Independent Advisory Group to bring people together for that discussion.
On 7th January 2015 seven young people took part in a discussion with the Local Authority Public Health team around proposals for a young people specific sexual health service in the borough. This report is a write up of those discussions, reflecting the comments and views expressed by young people on that day.

Healthwatch Waltham Forest worked with the boroughs Young Advisers and Youth Independent Advisory Group to bring people together for that discussion.

The purpose of the session was to build on previous engagement of young people in sexual health commissioning, explore thoughts and views around some specifics of the proposed service, and gain information which could help feed into service specification documentation and the overall commissioning process.The purpose of the session was to build on previous engagement of young people in sexual health commissioning, explore thoughts and views around some specifics of the proposed service, and gain information which could help feed into service specification documentation and the overall commissioning process.

GP services fit for the future, October 2014

This report reflects the discussions that took place at our GP services fit for the future event. It highlights issues such as those concerning service accessibility; information and communication; patient involvement; joined-up services; and complaints mechanisms (to name a few), and it also goes on to present features for ‘ideal GP services’ of the future in Waltham Forest.

Experience of stroke patients in Waltham Forest, September 2014

The Stroke Association and Healthwatch Waltham Forest co-hosted a focus group on Friday 26th September 2014, to record stroke survivors’ views on their experiences of health and social care services as a whole.

The event was attended by around 15 service users and carers, plus stroke nurses from Whipps Cross Hospital (Barts Health).
From the comments recorded, 185 issues have been identified.

This report identifies clear trends and offers suggestions on what could and should be improved, what is failing, and what is working well.

Talking to the parents/carers of children with disabilities and SEN, July 2014

This report is a summary of the discussion with parent carers over three meetings in the spring of 2014 and focuses upon children and young people with disabilities or Special Education Needs (SEN).

The parent carers discussed their experiences and concerns about health and social care provision in the London Borough of Waltham Forest (LBWF) and elsewhere in London and the South East. Key themes emerged in the discussions, from which these 19 recommendations for change and improvement in how health and social care services interact with parent carers and their children were identified

Deaf and hard of hearing service user experience, June 2014

The discussion that took place at our deaf and hard of hearing focus group, highlighted issues that Healthwatch Waltham Forest has heard from other borough residents; the difficulty in getting a GP appointment, limited time with the GP, waiting times at the hospital and a lack of continuity in social care services for example. These are common issues, but for deaf and hard of hearing people they are exacerbated by the difficulty of communicating with staff and accessing services generally lacking in deaf awareness.

As attendees confirmed, these difficulties can put deaf people off from visiting their GP or using other health and social care services and, as the SignHealth report (identified below) shows, lead to poorer health in the long term.

Experience of Homecare Services, April 2014

In Waltham Forest the council contracts domiciliary care from a list of 29 home care providers, not all of whom are currently used, and they intend to switch to a different model in 2015. This research project came about due to comments we received about homecare locally and the need to ensure that the patient voice is heard when change is implemented.

With the switch to a new model in mind Healthwatch was keen to gather opinion and experience of the current service so that when the council makes decisions about the new model of home care from 2015, what service users think about the service, their experiences, concerns and expectations, can be central to the decision making process.

The future of pharmacy services, April 2014

Healthwatch and the NELPPP (North-East London Public Pharmacy Partnership) held a joint consultation event at Vestry House Museum, Walthamstow on 6th February 2014 as part of NHS England’s Call to Action to look at the future potential role of pharmacy services in healthcare provision. The event also took the opportunity to introduce people to the Waltham Forest Pharmaceutical Needs Assessment (PNA), currently in production, and sought early comments on some of the topics discussed within it.

Close to fifty people attended and fed into the discussions. The information below is a write up of the discussions and comments received, which in turn have been used to identify some potential recommendations for the commissioner, provider organisations, and a wider variety of partners and stakeholders within the health and social care sector.

Pop-up shop report, Apr 2014

From Tuesday 25th March to Wednesday 2nd April we had use of a Pop-up shop in Hoe Street, Walthamstow. We really enjoyed being shopkeepers for a week or so and the pop-up was a great opportunity to raise aware- ness about our work.

It was good to meet so many local people and talk to them about health and social care in the borough; we met familiar faces and new ones, young and old.

Accessing GP services in Waltham Forest, Dec 2013

The issue of GP access in the borough was brought to the attention of Healthwatch Waltham Forest by individuals and voluntary sector professionals during the months prior to our official establishment in April 2013. In talking further with partners we understood the Health, Adults and Older People (HAOP) Scrutiny Sub-Committee to be undertaking a review of GP services in Waltham Forest.

Working in partnership with Scrutiny, Healthwatch made the decision to further investigate issues around GP access across the borough and in doing so we conducted a survey during July and August 2013. This report includes the findings from that survey.