Autism Support Crawley:
Here at NHS Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCCG) and NHS Horsham and Mid-Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (HMSCCG) we have been busy getting out and about, meeting and listening to our communities as part of our Big Health and Care Conversation.
On Thursday 13 February 2019 NHS Crawley Clinical Commissioning Group (CCCG) and NHS Horsham and Mid-Sussex Clinical Commissioning Group (HMSCCG), working in collaboration with Carers Support West Sussex, attended an Autism Support Crawley (ASC) meeting at the Broadfield Children and Family Centre in Crawley.
Autism Support Crawley (ASC) is a group of parents and carers of children and adults on the Autistic spectrum or with social communication difficulties. It was formed in 2007, and since then has over 1,100 members.
Dr Patience Okorie, Clinical Lead for Paediatric and Maternity services with NHS Crawley CCG, said:
“We wanted to listen to, understand, and act on what really matters to patients and people in our communities.
We spoke with a group of parents and carers of children and adults on the Autistic spectrum or with social communication difficulties to hear their views of local health and care services in the area, to communicate difficulties with understanding hidden disabilities, and to inform and update parents and carers of local services available to support them.
We have already started to act on the feedback received. We will continue to work with healthcare professionals, particularly GP Practices, Walk-in Centres and Hospitals, to raise awareness of hidden disabilities.
We thank Autism Support Crawley for their time in engaging with us”.
Maria Cook, Chair of Autism Support Crawley, said:
“We welcomed the positive discussions and opportunity with the Clinical Commissioning Group and Carers Support West Sussex to feed back our experiences of local health and care services to enhance services and provision for our community”.
Further information on the services and topics discussed can be found here.
A summary of the feedback can be found here, but we have outlined some of the comments below:
We have had difficulty in being flagged as carers on their GP database, and therefore, have not been offered the free flu vaccines.
If you are a main carer for an older or disabled person you are eligible for a free flu jab.
We launched a winter campaign ‘Help Us, Help You’ to raise awareness of the flu jab, using a wide range of channels to communicate and reach people such as newspapers, posters, social media, CCG websites, videos, Patient Roundup newsletter, podcast as well as face-to-face engagement.
We will continue to work with GP Practices to ensure they offer the flu jab to those who are eligible for the vaccine.
Appointments taking place via Skype (video call) is a good idea. Is the CCG looking to introduce this?
We are looking to create a new service for patients to access their GP practice. We want the service to be created based on the feedback from our patients. We will be engaging with our patients, public and GP practices to gauge the appetite for an online service that allows patients to contact their GP practice digitally as an alternative to the usual methods. This service would allow patients to provide their symptoms digitally to their GP practice who would forward the information to the appropriate healthcare professional (GP, nurse, or alternative healthcare professional) who in turn would respond to the patient directly via an internet platform (email, web chat etc.). It is also possible that the patient may be redirected to another service i.e. pharmacy/ urgent care centre or self-care depending on the individual case.
This service will not replace telephone bookings or face to face appointments with GP’s. It is designed to be another way to access primary care which will potentially be more convenient for digitally engaged patients.
We are attempting to reach as many patients as possible across Sussex and East Surrey to find out their thoughts on how the service should run. We created an online survey and encouraged friends, family and local communities to join us in creating a service that is right for you. Please click here for patient information leaflet.