It found that:
- 1 in 3 of us report experiencing or knowing someone who has experienced abuse, neglect or malpractice whilst being cared for.
- More than half of us who have experienced poor care in the last three years didn’t report it because we didn’t trust the system to act.
- An overwhelming 94% of us think the nation’s health and social care services need improvement.
This research shows that the British public has serious and legitimate concerns about the way they are being treated and cared for by the NHS. This is despite, on the surface, that satisfaction levels are high with almost three quarters of us stating that we receive good quality care
Healthwatch went on to say that it believes this is a “paper-thin veneer of satisfaction” that stops the UK getting to grips with the widespread failures across the health and social care systems.
In its executive summary, Healthwatch said:
Taken together, these findings demonstrate the need for a fundamental change that puts the user at the heart of the services. To help drive this change, we think a set of rights in health and social care can help people become more empowered and engaged.
Commenting on the release of the report, Anna Bradley, Chair of HealthWatch England, said:
We all need to stop acting like grateful patients and care users, and start to see ourselves as savvy consumers, insisting on our right to safe, dignified and high quality care.
I agree and the main right we need is to decide how and where our money is spent. It’s why I have been promoting the Civitas paper, A National Health Service for Patients by Anton Howes.
Writing on ConHome, I concluded:
It’s time to enable healthcare decisions to be taken away from the monopolistic power of an unaccountable elite and placed with an ever-more informed public. People know what they want and they know what they are getting today is not it. The introduction of patient-led commissioning groups is exactly the sort of proposal that the Conservative Party must adopt if it is to honour the spirit of the 2010 manifesto and David Cameron’s leadership.