We carried out involvement activities to try to understand the current demand on GP practices and emergency departments (ED) in Leeds.
Brief description of the project
Healthcare services across the country have been experiencing very high levels of demand which puts all parts of the healthcare system under pressure.
In Leeds, the NHS wanted to investigate what might be causing this increase in demand to find out if there were any opportunities to do things differently to help reduce some of the pressure.
Who did we speak to?
- 45 NHS primary care staff working in GP practices
- 104 ED patients,
- 3 ED staff members.
What and how did we ask?
We asked primary care GP practice staff to tell us about recent changes they had seen in their GP practices, and what they thought might be driving this. We asked ED patients to tell us why they were attending the emergency department and what other services they had contacted before they arrived.
We used online and face-to-face surveys to involve people.
What did people tell us?
NHS primary care GP practice staff:
- Increased numbers of patients are now seeking help from their GP
- There is an increase in health anxiety, especially amongst young people
- Some older people and more vulnerable patients may not be contacting services
- Staff are experiencing high levels of stress and services are struggling to cope.
Patients in emergency departments:
- Most people have tried to contact other services before coming to the ED
- Some people came to the ED because the wait to see a GP is too long
- People know they will be seen at the ED, despite a wait of several hours
What did we do?
The responses were analysed and a report was written outlining the main themes. This was shared with senior leaders across the city, together with wider data analysis results.
The findings from this work will help to shape and improve the response of local health services in the future when the system experiences similar pressures, for example during winter.
How can you help?
We can all help relieve some of the current pressure by using the right service at the right time. Read our guide to supporting your NHS here: https://www.leedsccg.nhs.uk/support-your-nhs-your-guide-to-helping-us-help-you/