Project reports

What are we hearing about Adult Social Care?

One of the statutory duties of Healthwatch Surrey is to listen to the views of local people about their health and social care and to share these views with the organisations who make decisions about local services.

We shared what we and and key local organisations Age UK and Surrey Coalition, have heard about Adult Social Care complaints at the Adults and Health Select Committee in December 2020. This is the published report that was shared.

What do people want to happen next?

In June 2020, we conducted a snap poll with 46 Surrey residents on:

- What changes they want to see in the way health or social care are managed in the future
- Their message to the people responsible for making recovery happen
- Steps they had taken to look after themselves during the pandemic

The sample was small but some of the key findings reflect what we’ve heard from our own and our partners’ wider consultations and are particularly interesting in light of the changes to lockdown planned for early July 2020.

COVID-19 Survey Report - May 2020

In May 2020 we ran a survey asking local people about their experiences of health and social care during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is a report based on what people have told us.

COVID-19 Survey Summary Report - May 2020

This is a summary of the COVID-19 Survey Report.

Hospital Discharge Report - Spring 2020

Hospital Discharge - Are you hearing what we're hearing?

A report on what we've heard about hospital discharge in Surrey over the past two years.

The Experience of Safeguarding in Surrey

Surrey Safeguarding Adults Board (SSAB) commissioned Healthwatch Surrey to gain rich insight into people's experience of safeguarding and to identify best practice and challenges (what works for people, what doesn't, what success looks like).

This report includes a summary of interviews conducted, recommendations and what we learned.

Maternity Voices Project Report

Healthwatch Surrey and four other local Healthwatch organisations took part in a project with Frimley Health and Care Maternity System, conducting research with parents from a range of backgrounds to inform the design and delivery of services.

This report focusses on reaching out to those people who are often under-represented, and it identifies areas of importance to mothers and birthing partners in terms of what further support is required as well as areas for improvement in services.

Maternity Voices Project - Report Summary

This is a summary report of the Maternity Voices Project.

Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Trans & Queer experiences of healthcare in Surrey

About 10,000 people in Surrey are LGBTQ - this is about 1.3% of the population.

We wanted to reach out to LGBTQ people because they are at risk of health inequalities; they are not named as a priority group in the Surrey Health and Wellbeing Strategy, so we wanted to make sure that their voices are heard.

Focus on: Dental Services - Finding out more about experiences in Surrey

The House of Commons Health Select Committee launched an inquiry in July 2019 into dental services, looking at a broad range of topics.

This report summarises what we've heard from people in Surrey and the findings were reported to the Select Committee.

Planning Ahead - Care Home Residents' Experiences of Advance Care Planning

The Surrey Health and Wellbeing Board has identified 'helping people die well' as a key focus for Surrey's 10-year strategy. A Surrey-wide end-of-life care partnership is working to understand the current picture and identify opportunities to work collaboratively.

Healthwatch Surrey is giving care home residents a voice to share their experiences of advance care planning to help more people achieve good end-of-life care.

Carers - Insight into what we've heard

Senior leaders in local NHS and care services recognise the important role carers play and have committed to ensuring that carers are identified and supported.

With this in mind, Healthwatch Surrey wanted to explore what it's like to be a carer, the advantages and disadvantages of registering as a carer and the benefits of being part of a carers' community.

Focus on: Community Mental Health Recovery Services (CMHRS) - September 2019

This report summarises what we heard from people who shared their experiences of Community Mental Health Recovery Services (CMHRS) and feedback received from a survey we conducted.

The Long Term Plan Report (August 2019)

In January, the NHS released their Long Term Plan, a strategy to guide its progression over the next 10 years. The Long Term Plan sets out areas the NHS will focus on to achieve this, in light of what works well and what needs improvement.

NHS England asked local NHS areas to set out how they will implement the Long Term Plan and the independence, networks and expertise of Healthwatch was called upon by the NHS to influence the implementation of these plans. This report supplements the existing Citizen Engagement programme of Surrey Heartlands Health & Care Partnership (Surrey Heartlands).

Surrey County Council's response to our report 'Can you hear me?'

In December 2019, we received a detailed response from Surrey County Council to our Care at Home report - 'Can you hear me?'

'Can you hear me?' (August 2019)

As part of Healthwatch Surrey's 3-year strategic priorites, we initiated our Care at Home project to answer the question "Do care at home users have a voice?".

Throughout the project, we conducted in-depth interviews with a total of 42 people receiving care at home, 14 care workers and 12 care agency managers or coordinators.

Following our findings, we had informal discussions with commissioners at Surrey County Council about our findings and recommendations.

Learning Disabilities Insight Report

A report based on what people with learning disabilities have told us and the perspective of parents and carers.

Learning Disabilities Insight Report - Easy Read

Easy Read version of the Learning Disabilities Insight Report.

Can you hear me? - Care at Home, Phase 1

The first version of our report for our thematic priority Care at Home.
Amplifying the voice of people receiving care at home.

Hospital Discharge - Next Steps (April 2019)

After the publication of the Hospital Discharge Checklist we evaluate the strengths and weaknesses and look at how we move forward.

Insight Bulletin - Substance Misuse Services - April 2019

Substance misuse services in surrey changed in April 2019 and this bulletin summaries the views and experiences of some current users. it follows request for some in depth insight from politicians that are scrutinizing the impact of service changes.

Commissioner response to our report 'How to help...: exploring how mental health services can support emotional wellbeing'

In November 2018, we received a detailed response to our report from Surrey Mental Health CCG Collaboratives and Surrey County Council, the commissioners of mental health services for Surrey.

Care at Home Phase 1 Report

Healthwatch Surrey has set out to answer the question 'In Surrey, do Domiciliary Care Users have a voice?'.
During phase one of our project, we spoke to 13 care at home providers, asking them about their compliments, complaints and comments procedures. From this, we have found many key findings and raised some important questions that we will be looking into in phase two of the project.

Get Online Week - October 2018

During Get Online week (15th - 19th October 2018) we visited 7 GP surgeries across Surrey and spoke to 242 people about their GP online services.

This report summarises what we found.

Improving Healthcare Together - Interviews with People with Learning Disabilities

A Healthwatch Surrey report on engagement with people with Learning Disabilities.

Improving Healthcare Together - Interviews with Carers

A report on Healthwatch Surrey's engagement with Carers from Leatherhead and Banstead.

Improving Healthcare Together - Summary Report

This is a Summary Report for Healthwatch's independant engagement with residents in Epsom, Sutton and Merton in September and October 2018.

Improving Healthcare Together - Interviews with Older People

A report on a Healthwatch Surrey engagement with Older People from the Epsom area.

Healthwatch Surrey Discharge Checklist V2 (Oct 18)

Following the success of our last hospital discharge checklist, we have designed a brand new checklist to help patients ask questions and get the information they need when planning to leave hospital.
We can provide printed copies of this, so please email if you would like a copy.

Healthwatch Surrey Discharge Checklist V2 (Oct 18) - Plain text

Following the success of our last hospital discharge checklist, we have designed a brand new checklist to help patients ask questions and get the information they need when planning to leave hospital.

Care Homes Impact Report (Sept 2018)

In Spring 2018 Healthwatch Surrey visited 20 care homes and spoke to residents, their friends and families, and care home staff about mealtimes. We sent our findings and recommendations to 421 care homes in Surrey, and as of September 2018 have received feedback from 44 of these. This Impact report details the findings.

Children with Special Educational Needs & Disabilities: Exploring the views of parents

Our latest Insight Bulletin captures the experiences of parents who have children with special educational needs and disabilities.

In Spring 2018 we attended a support event in East Surrey for parents of children with special educational needs and disabilities.

At the event parents shared some of the challenges they face in accessing health, social services and education for their children.

While the group was small the same problems were repeated from family to family, and their voices provide a unique and valuable insight into the reality of their experience.

'How to help...': Exploring how mental health services can support emotional wellbeing

Our latest report, 'How to help...' explores the views and experiences of 70 people with recent experiences of using mental health services in Surrey.

As a result of the findings, we are asking mental health providers and commissioners to review their policies and strategies around how people are involved in care planning and crucially, how perceptions of this involvement are measured. 
Note: updated version July 2018

'What I want...within reason': An exploration of mealtimes in 20 care homes for older people (May 2018)

This report explores at the observations, views and experiences of 237 residents, families, carers and staff gathered by Healthwatch Surrey volunteers during visits to 20 care homes in the county, identifying key themes and recommendations for providers and commissioners.

We hope this report will inspire small but impactful changes that care homes can make to not only improve residents’ physical and mental health but also their overall sense of wellbeing and control.

‘The Big Chat’ : a new direction to promote young people’s wellbeing (March 2018)

It has been well documented both across the media and in professional reports that young people’s mental health is a serious societal problem at the moment. Much of the work going on aims to help young people after a problem starts; many other initiatives aim to build resilience so that young people cope within the sometimes toxic systems and cultures that they find themselves. However, there is a third way – we need to be bold and to believe that together we (professionals, young people, parents, etc) can achieve a cultural shift to societal issues such as bullying, body image, poor use of social media, unhelpful educational pressure, etc so that young people have a much more positive experience. We need to enable the mass of our young people to thrive, not just survive.

Leaving Hospital: What do I need to know? (PLAIN TEXT VERSION)

A large print version of our Discharge Checklist, developed to help patients ask questions and get the information they need when planning to leave hospital. If you would like a printed copy, please contact us.

Leaving Hospital: What do I need to know? Discharge Checklist

With the help of patients, families, hospital staff from the Royal Surrey and CSH Surrey and local community organisations, we have designed a checklist to help patients ask questions and get the information they need when planning to leave hospital.
We can provide printed copies of this, so please email us if you would like one.

Impact Report: 'Its difficult to know what to ask' (March 2018)

This report looks at the impact of our recent report on people's experiences of hospital discharge in Surrey, including a summary of the responses received from providers and commissioners.

Hospital Discharge: 'It's difficult to know what to ask'

Between September and December 2017, Healthwatch Surrey undertook a specific project, speaking to local people aged 65+ (including their family/friends) about their experiences of leaving hospital.
We were particularly keen to hear about the information people need to help make the transition out of hospital as smooth as possible, and how this can best be communicated. In total we spoke to 59 people in depth about their expectations, needs and experiences throughout the process of leaving hospital.

GP Online: Even better if... People's experiences of GP online services

Between 30th September and 6th October 2017, Healthwatch Surrey visited eight local GP practices as part of the ‘Get Online’ week organised by Surrey County Council, in partnership with the Good Things Foundation.

By talking to people in the surgeries we visited, and by sending out a short survey online, we heard about how people are benefiting from GP online services already, but also heard about some of the things that could be improved to make online access easier.

GP Online: Understanding and increasing the use of online GP services in Surrey

Please view this summary report to see what local people thought of the Online GP service.

To view the full report, please view 'GP Online: Even better if... People's experiences of GP online services'.

Epsom & St Helier 2020-2030

In June 2017, Epsom & St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust began a new conversation to get patients’ feedback about their long term plans for a purpose-built specialist unit at one of their hospital sites, which will change the way certain services are provided.

Healthwatch Surrey carried out a series of engagement events with local people on behalf of the Trust to make sure that as many people as possible could be told about changes and have their opinions captured and fed back to the Trust.

Take a look at the report to find out more!

Epsom Health and Care response to Healthwatch Surrey report ‘Epsom Health and Care @Home: People’s experience of integrated care’

Take a look at what Thirza Sawtell, Director of Epsom Health and Care responded to our report ‘Epsom Health and Care @Home: People’s experience of integrated care’.

Epsom Health and Care @Home: People's experiences of integrated care

This year one of Healthwatch Surrey's priorities is understanding local people's experience of hospital discharge.

As part of this work, Healthwatch Surrey linked up with the Epsom Health and Care @Home service to conduct a short piece of work looking at people's experiences of the integrated service provided to over 65s at Epsom Hospital.
This is the report, which helped inform the provider's own evaluation of the service.

Safe Haven Impact Report

Following on from the publication of 'Keeping the Light On', Healthwatch Surrey have now published a report that demonstrates the impact we made on Surrey's Safe Havens.

'My GP journey'- Impact Report (September 2017)

Following on from the publication of 'My GP journey', this report demonstrates the impact Healthwatch Surrey has had on local GP services.

Magna Carta Postcard (March 2017)

We spoke to 189 students from the Magna Carta School in Staines during their Health and Wellbeing Week in March 2017 to find out how they deal with anxiety and worry.

Download the postcard to see what the students told us.

More information can be found on our Mental Health under 'Our Priorities'.

Formal Response to the Hospital Discharge Survey

Please find a formal response from Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust regarding our Hospital Discharge Survey.

The Hospital Discharge Survey (June 2017)

During November-December 2016, local Healthwatch covering areas of the Frimley Health NHS Foundation Trust collaborated to find out more about people's experiences of being discharged from hospital.

This report has been compiled to summarise the results of this joint project, showing the views of the people we spoke to, and recommendations based on our findings.

If you have an experience of hospital discharge, good or bad, please let us know - the information we receive helps to shape health and social care in Surrey.

My GP Journey (June 2017)

Learning from the experience of seldom heard groups

We regularly hear from local people that booking a GP appointment can be a struggle. But for people with specific needs, for example someone who has a long term condition or disability, or for whom English is a second language, going to see your GP can be even harder.

This new report, "My GP Journey", explores the experiences of 120 people when visiting their GP, from registering and booking an appointment, through to attending the surgery and getting treatment.

My GP Journey Easy Read (June 2017)

Take a look at this easy read version of 'My GP Journey' that learns from the experiences of seldom heard groups when visiting their GP.

'My Way Every Day' - Impact Report (June 2017)

Further to 'My Way, Every Day' Healthwatch Surrey have published an Impact Report containing reactions from commissioners and providers who responded to the report.

Keeping the Light On (March 2017)

Healthwatch Surrey recently visited all seven of Surrey's Safe Havens to listen to people's experiences of mental health services in Surrey.

The people who shared their experiences with us told us how they wanted the report to look and which information was most important to them; this report is the finished product.

We will be seeking a response to the report from the people that lead in the planning and delivery of mental health services in Surrey.

If you have an experience of Safe Havens or any other mental health service, please tell us about it. Your story will help shape the future of health and social care in Surrey.

Keeping the Light On - Plain Text verison

Plain text version of the Keeping the Light On report.

'My Way, Every Day' (January 2017)

Healthwatch Surrey have published a report looking at how care homes in Surrey provide activities for care home residents, which you can download below.

Volunteers visited 25 care homes to speak to residents about what it is like to live in care home, how often their individual wishes and needs are taken into account on a daily basis.

While there was evidence of a rich mix of experiences and activities which were valued by residents, these were not available to everyone. As a result of what we have found, Healthwatch Surrey has identified a number of specific recommendations for Surrey County Council, care home providers, the Care Quality Commission and the organisation responsible for developing national standards for the adult social care sector, Skills for Care.

PALS Project: Improving access to NHS complaints advocacy and Healthwatch (December 2016)

Over the last year, we have been working with Patient Liaison Services in Surrey to help improve access to Independent Health Complaints Advocacy (IHCA) and Healthwatch Surrey.

The attached report summarises the work that was completed as part of the project. This included:

Meetings with PALS staff and managers at the Acute, Mental Health and Community Hospitals and Providers
Observations made during visits to PALS offices
Web excercise on information accessibility
Next Steps

There will be a briefing and workshop held early in the new year with volunteers involved in the project. In this meeting, we will look at the findings so far and discuss what the next steps for Healthwatch Surrey might be able to do to help continue to raise awareness of Healthwatch Surrey and the Independent Complaints Service amongst providers of health and care in Surrey.

PPG Fact Finder (November 2016)

Healthwatch Surrey have been working with Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) across Surrey to find out how PPGs are working in practice and to dig deeper about what makes an effective PPG.

As part of this work, five volunteers attended 12 PPG meetings to gather information from the PPGs regarding;

What works well
Areas that need improvement
Or areas PPGs they specifically need help with e.g. member recruitment/social media.
The report, available to download below, collates the feedback and identifies common themes and best practice.

Whats next?

There will be a briefing and workshop held in December with volunteers involved in the project. In this meeting, we will look at the findings so far and discuss what Healthwatch might be able to produce or deliver to help PPGs communicate and raise awareness with their patient populations. We will also discuss how we can work with PPGs to continue to raise awareness of Healthwatch Surrey across the county.

'Just getting on with it': Accessing primary care in Surrey: Views and experiences of people aged over 65 years

Our latest report out today (23rd March 2016) highlights the challenges a number of over 65s have faced when accessing primary care services like their GP, dentist, pharmacy and out of hours.

As the population of over 65s in Surrey continues to grow, it is vital that services are accessible. We are therefore asking CCGs in the county to use this report to inform their five-year Sustainability and Transformation plans to ensure that the needs of patients, carers and families are at the heart of their decisions about the future of care in Surrey.

The first step into the complaints maze (November 2014)

Healthwatch Surrey has released a report about how easy it is to access online information about complaints to NHS services in Surrey. You can download a copy below.

We will use this information, together with the latest report from Healthwatch England 'Suffering in Silence' to start a discussion with the public, service providers and their commissioners to help find the best way forward locally.

If I've told you once: People's views on record sharing between health and social care professionals involved in their care in Surrey" (October 2015)

In the summer of 2015 Healthwatch Surrey carried out a survey across the county investigating people’s view on record sharing between the health and social care professionals involved in their care. The survey was distributed via a variety of channels both in hard copy and online, and excited considerable public and professional interest. 577 surveys were completed. The issue was also explored in four focus groups with people over 65 years of age in locations across Surrey.

The overarching conclusion was that if the parameters of health and care record sharing are kept within the confines of the health and care professions, and there are procedures in place to ensure security, confidentiality and accuracy, there was strong support from survey respondents for sharing all or part of their health and care record with all or some of the health and care professionals involved in their care

If I've told you once: Summary Report (October 2015)

Our Health Matters - The Healthcare Experiences of the BAME community (March 2015)

We are pleased to have worked with Surrey Minority Ethnic Forum (SMEF) to conduct research into the healthcare experiences of Surrey's BME communities.

More than 250 people shared their views and experiences via telephone/face to face interviews and a survey.

Communication was percieved to be the greatest barrier to accessing healthcare services and information.

Help us speak out for BME communities. Download the report below now.

If you require a different format or translation, please contact us at

Our Health Matters - Views of Young People in Surrey

We have been working with Surrey Youth Focus to find out about what young people across Surrey think about the NHS and their own health concerns.

More than 220 people between the ages of 11 - 25 took part in an online survey and 2 focus groups.

Help us speak out on their behalf. Download a copy of the report below.

Getting an Appointment with your GP: Experiences of the people of Surrey (2014)

Had trouble getting an appointment with your GP in Surrey? You're not alone!

You said: The people of Surrey told us that GP services were a high priority area in their health & well being. This included specific feedback about problems getting an appointment.

We did: We surveyed over 1,000 local people about their experience of booking an appointment with their GP.

A brief summary (and the full report) of the results can be viewed below.

What does this mean? Lack of access to a GP could be detrimental to your health. It is also inefficient as 1 in 4 say we would attend A&E if faced with difficulties booking an appointment.

What you can do: If your practice cannot offer the options recommended in the report, bring this to the attention of your GP. Pursue the issue with - and consider joining - the Patient Participation Group linked linked with the practice?

What can Healthwatch do? We will use our statutory powers and work with local decision makers to improve the situation. We will publish a progress report in October.

Did you know...78% of GP Practices have an online booking facility, but only 36% of patients know about them?*

A call for evidence: We are an evidence-led organisation that harnesses the voice of the public with people in power. If you, a friend, or a relative has an untold story or opinion about local services that we should be representing, please take 5 minutes to tell us your story

*of 65 practices (50%) surveyed and 1,111 patient respondents

Stroke Pathway Project (2013)

The Stroke Pathway Project was undertaken by LINK volunteers and staff in late 2012 and early 2013.

It gathers evidence on the Stroke Pathway for Surrey residents after discharge from acute hospital care.

Download a copy of the report here. Please contact us if you require the report in alternative formats