How did these briefings start?
During the first few months of the COVID-19 pandemic, we began to get more phone calls and emails than ever. People needed to ask for advice, information, and support as everything was changing.
The conversations we had in these months made it clear that there were patterns in people's experiences - and to help services and commissioners of services address these themes as quickly as they were emerging, we started to produce regular briefings. You can read them here.
We learnt that sharing short and easily readable briefings with service providers and commissioners was very effective as it allowed them to hear 'on the ground' feedback about service changes.
How are the briefings changing?
As we entered Autumn, our enquiries line was still busy, but not all of the experiences shared were linked so closely to COVID-19.
Because this format has been successful, we've developed it into a more permanent way of sharing the experiences you tell us about. Summaries of key issues will be made public, so you can see what the public have been telling us, but they will also be shared directly with the people who have the power to make change happen.
Where more immediate concerns arise, we are still acting to address these with services in between briefings - the round ups are a way of sharing the themes that emerge when we take a step back and look at the month as a whole.
Where do the key issues come from?
There's a range of ways that we hear stories. These include:
- Feedback that you share with us through our advice and information line (phone calls, emails, and texts)
- Stories we hear through our work 'out and about' (at the moment this mostly means online meetings and engagement events, but we hope to see you face to face again soon)
- Feedback from our voluntary sector colleagues who support members of the public in Sheffield
- Stories shared on Care Opinion, who we've partnered with so people can easily share feedback online
So what did we hear last month?
Our first briefing, covering the key issues we heard in September 2020, is available on our website. The most common issues we heard about this month were about access to primary care services, and the impact of delayed treatment due to covid-19. Other issues have affected a smaller group of people but we think the potential impact is significant - this is especially around access to interpreters in healthcare settings, and access to mental health respite care.