GP appointments and navigating between organisations were the main topics of conversation at a public health forum.
Representatives from The Willow Group, the Fareham & Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group, Hampshire County Council, Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust (PHT) Southern Health NHS Foundation Trust, NHS England and the South Central Ambulance Service met with residents in Gosport to discuss their concerns around local healthcare provisions.
John and Jenny Roach from Lee-on-the-Solent shared their story on navigating between health authorities when Jenny was diagnosed with melanoma, eye cancer.
John, 78, said: ‘We wanted to ask about how the hospital sends information and diagnoses to the GP and other consultants because we had appointments for scans and operations being booked on the same day at different places.
‘I don’t think we really got an answer for our situation but I wanted to bring it up because the actual staff that have looked after my wife have been fantastic but it is the administration that is the problem.’
Jenny, 74, added: ‘I hope that with everyone sharing their views and things that have happened to them within the health system does go some way in making the top people understand the issues and it does make a difference.’
The event, organised by Gosport MP Caroline Dinenage and held at Thorngate Halls, also gave residents the chance to speak to health bosses one-to-one, including PHT chief executive Mark Cubbon and Dr David Chilvers, who was representing The Willow Group.
Ms Dinenage said: ‘I was very pleased to get senior representatives from all our major local health bodies in one place; 177 local people turned up and were able to ask questions on everything from ambulances to GP appointments and A&E to mental health support. I was really grateful to all those that attended. It was really interesting and informative.’
Colin and Margaret Smith both felt The Willow Group had problems.
Margaret, 70, said: ‘I think the staff at the hospital are absolutely amazing and they really took care of me during my two bouts of cancer but you can never get appointments at the GP surgery and they were bad with seeing me quickly when I was being diagnosed the second time.’
Colin, also 70, added: ‘The problems started when The Willow Group took over and now you can’t get a GP appointment but I do think this event was helpful and I would come again.’