Who are we?

Healthwatch Surrey champions the voice of local people to shape, improve and get the best from NHS, health and social care services. As an independent statutory body, we have the power to make sure decision makers listen to your feedback.

It’s really important that you share your experiences – both good or bad. We passionately believe that listening and responding to your experiences is vital to create health and social care services that meet the needs of people in Surrey.

We can also provide reliable and trustworthy information and signposting about local health and social care services to help you get the support you need.

We are part of a network of over 150 local Healthwatch across the country. Last year, the Healthwatch network helped nearly a million people like you to have your say and get the support you need. So if you need information or are ready to share your experience about health and social care services – please contact us.

Latest Reports and Papers

This report provides insights into local people’s views on, and experiences with, health and social care services in Guildford and Waverley. It is based on what people have told us at a series of engagement events in the area, as well as enquiries to our Helpdesk, between November 2023 and April 2024.

Access to primary care Information and advice Involvement of people

Our latest Insight bulletin highlights the key themes we’ve been hearing about recently, as well as providing information about how we share our insight and our future events. This month we also highlight our Annual report ‘The value of listening’.

Access to primary care Insight bulletins Involvement of people Mental health

Through 2023 – 2024, 1632 Surrey residents shared their experiences about health and social care with us and 824 Surrey residents sought advice and support from our Helpdesk and Independent Health Complaints Advocacy (IHCA) service.

Our 2023 – 2024 annual report ‘The value of listening’ highlights our impact throughout the year supported by our volunteers, and how we have worked with others to make a difference.

Access to primary care Information and advice Involvement of people Mental health Performance reports

Our Latest News...

Marking the 76th birthday of the National Health Service

5th July 2024

76 years ago  – on 5th July 1948 – the National Health Service (NHS) was born. In post war Britain … Read more

Upcoming events and engagement sessions in July

1st July 2024

Each month we focus on a different area of the county, visiting venues in local communities to listen to what … Read more

Pride Month – June 2024

2nd June 2024

June is Pride Month, a month dedicated to celebrating LGBTQ+ communities across the world. Previous figures from the LGBT Foundation’s … Read more

Personal experiences

NHS 111

Stella* was experiencing the symptoms of an infection causing her pain. Due to this and her suppressed immune system she contacted NHS 111 for help. NHS 111 advised her that her nearest urgent treatment centre had reached capacity so she should need to drive for 25 minutes to the next available centre. Stella did this but was told this centre had also reached capacity. She took the tests and, when seen by a nurse, she was told they couldn’t prescribe antibiotics because of her suppressed immune system. The urgent treatment centre advised her to go to A&E instead. At A&E Stella had a further 3 hour wait and a repeat of all the tests. The receptionist then told Stella that she could have just walked into hospital and did not need to contact 111 first.

Our Helpdesk advisor contacted the Practice Plus Group, who run the NHS 111 service in Surrey, to clarify the information Stella had been provided and the patient experience team requested Stella’s details so they could investigate further. The Practice Plus Group then contacted Stella, apologising for her poor experience and to inform they have started an investigation to understand what improvements can be made. They also provided some advice to Stella regarding support she can get from her GP to continue her care.

*Names have been changed to protect identities

Covid booster

Arthur* was seeking support in booking a Covid-19 vaccination for his wife who was unable to leave her home due to ill health. He had previously booked through his GP practice however, the practice no longer offered this and did not provide an alternative option. We advised Arthur to contact the vaccination helpline 119, however after trying for a couple of days, he was unable to get through. Our Helpdesk Advisor contacted the 119 advice line on behalf of Arthur and confirmed all of the information he required to get a vaccination booked for a home visit and also to confirm the right numbers to press to navigate the automated system and speak directly with an advisor and book the appointment. This information was then passed on to Arthur. “Thanks to your clear precise instructions I’ve at last managed to start the booking procedure. Apparently, the NHS covid vaccination booking service will now get back to us to confirm a time and date.” Following this Arthur was able to book a suitable appointment for his wife.

*Names have been changed to protect identities

Accessible Information Standard

We spoke to Harriet* at an engagement event. She was upset about the support she was receiving for her mental health as she felt she was being “bounced around between this place and that place, it makes me feel irrelevant.” Harriet also explained she had a health condition and needed to visit the hospital. However, she didn’t receive hospital appointment letters in Easy Read even though she had asked for this, and this meant she sometimes missed appointments as she didn’t understand the letters. She also said that when she did get to appointments, she sometimes found it hard to understand what was being said to her.

We gave Harriet some information about other support groups and advocacy services that could help her. We also contacted the hospital. They confirmed that they had now changed Harriet’s records to show that she needed information in Easy Read. They also arranged for a specialist nurse to accompany her on her next appointment and to chat afterwards about any ongoing support requirements.

*Names have been changed to protect identities