Concerns about the ambulance service performance in Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin have led Healthwatch Shropshire and Healthwatch Telford & Wrekin to want to hear the stories behind the statistics.
They want to hear about where things have and haven't gone well.
Lynn Cawley, Chief Officer of Healthwatch Shropshire, and Barry Parnaby, Chair of Healthwatch Telford & Wrekin, said: “We share patient experience with service providers, those who pay for the service and those who regulate services such as the Care Quality Commission to ensure the patient voice is at the centre of efforts to improve services.
"We know that the demand on urgent care is high at the moment and it is having an impact on the whole health and care system. We want to understand how the current strains on the ambulance service are impacting people’s health and lives.
"We urge people to tell us about their experiences and help to make a difference. Call us 01743 237884 or get in contact online healthwatchshropshire.co.uk/calling-ambulance-emergency or healthwatchtelfordandwrekin.co.uk/share-your-views."
The region's directors of public heath are backing the move.
Rachel Robinson, Director of Public Health at Shropshire Council said: “We are aware of residents' concerns around ambulance response times and urgent care across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin. This call to action from Healthwatch will gather patients and cares experiences to inform planning, improve services and outcomes across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin.”
Liz Noakes, Telford & Wrekin Council’s Director for Public Health, added: “I would urge patients across Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin to support Healthwatch in this initiative and share their own, personal experience of calling for an ambulance in an emergency. Make sure your voice and views are heard on such an important issue, impacting lives.”
Healthwatch Shropshire and Healthwatch Telford & Wrekin are the independent health and social care champions in the county. They gather the views and experiences of patients, service users, carers, and the general public about services including hospitals, GPs, mental health services, community health services, pharmacists, opticians, residential care and children’s services.
Healthwatch also has statutory powers that they can use to influence service provision by encouraging improvements.