Our work

Interested in what we've been working on? Take a look at our past and present project reports.
healthwatch representative standing outside

Our current projects 

Long COVID: Tell us your experience

Have you, or someone you know, experienced the long-term effects of Coronavirus? Have they lasted months? We want to hear from you. 

Many people recovering from COVID-19 are still coming to terms with the impact the virus has had on both their body and mind and are trying to shake off the effects of the virus. The symptoms are wide-ranging and fluctuating, and can include breathlessness, chronic fatigue, "brain fog", anxiety and stress. 

Healthwatch are working with the NHS in South West London to learn about people's experiences of Long COVID to help improve the support and services that are available. 

Tell us your experience and help shape the support you need. 

Complete our survey

Dental check-up: Have your say on dental services

We have seen a large increase in the amount of enquiries received from Sutton residents trying to access NHS dental services and we want to find out more about the state of dental care in the Borough. 

We want to hear from you if you have used, or tried to use, any type of dental service since March 2020 i.e. the date when routine services were forced to stop. 

Complete our survey

Accessing dentistry services during COVID-19

Our report looks at the current dental situation in Sutton as residents told us they struggled to access local NHS dental care. 

We saw an increase in the amount of enquiries from residents about how they can access local dentistry services. 

In response to this, we contacted all 36 dental practices in and around the London Borough of Sutton to find out what practices were taking on new patients, and average waiting times for accessing routine and emergency appointments. 

We managed to speak to 30 dental practices between 16th June and 19th July 2021.

Read the report 

Primary school children's mental health 

Following the success of our secondary school children's mental health project, we embarked on a project to find out more about the mental health of primary school pupils. 

Before the pandemic, we asked nearly 1000 primary school pupils (aged 9-11) about their mental health, and we feel that it is important that their voices are heard. 

We have established a baseline to give an indication on the state of mental health in primary school pupils prior to COVID-19. 

Going forward, we hope to repeat the process to find out about the impact of COVID-19. 

Read the report

Our past projects 

Experiences in care homes during the COVID-19 pandemic

During the pandemic, care homes were on the frontline in the fight to protect people from catching the virus. Our report tells the stories of care home residents, their family and friends, and staff members. 

Between March and May 2021, we heard from 74 residents, 59 of their friends and family and 115 staff members. 

We hope that the findings from our project will be used to learn lessons that could help with future planning and have a greater understanding of the impact of the COVID-19 crisis on the care home sector in the London Borough of Sutton. 

We would like to say thank you to Sutton Council for commissioning this work and all the care home staff, residents and their friends and family who have taken the time to complete our survey. 

Read the report

Your thoughts on NHS Test and Trace

Our report captures your thoughts, views and experiences of how the NHS Test and Trace system is working in Sutton. 

We received a variety of anecdotal feedback that people were concerned about the effectiveness of the system, especially toward the end of 2020. 

As the organisation charged with ensuring that the residents of the London Borough of Sutton have a voice in decision-making relating to health and social care, we put together a short survey to collect the views of local people concerning the NHS Test and Trace system. We received over 100 responses. 

Thank you to everyone who shared their views with us. 

Read the report

Your COVID-19 stories 

Before lockdown, we created a short survey to find out your views and understand the impact the coronavirus pandemic was having on you, your family and friends.

Our report captures your experiences as the pandemic unfolded in the London Borough of Sutton. 

Read the report 

Patient feedback on experiences of remote consultations & digital prescriptions 

The COVID-19 pandemic has forced the majority of GP consultations to take place remotely, as well as increase in electronic prescriptions. We captured patients' views on their recent experiences of using these services. 

Read the report  

Changing your GP service

Primary Care Networks (PCNs) were formally established in July 2019. These are groups of GP practices that work together. PCNs cover local populations of between 30,000 and 50,000 people that were set up with the intention to finally 'dissolve the historic divide between primary and community health services'. 

In Sutton, 4 PCNs have been created to cover Carshalton, Wallington, Central Sutton and Cheam & South Sutton. 

We wanted to support GP practices in the development of PCNs and agreed to carry out this survey to provide PCNs with intelligence that could be used to develop their organisations and the services they provide. 

In March 2020, we asked you to tell us what you thought about changing GP services in the Borough. 

Read our report 

Care homes 

Nationally, there has been a focus on the quality of care homes, especially due to high profile legal cases where the standard of care has had significant detrimental effects on the residents. 

Locally, Healthwatch Sutton asked people to tell us which areas of health and social care were their highest priorities. Care homes were ranked highly as a priority. 

In October 2019, our Enter and View volunteers carried out their first visit to Crossways Nursing Care Home. 

We are currently in the process of planning 10 future visits to care homes in the Borough. However, understandably, these visits have been postponed due to COVID-19. 

In the meantime, you can read the report about our first Enter and View visit. 

Read the report

Helping expectant/recent mums and their partners access better mental health support 

We worked together with NHS Sutton (formerly Sutton Clinical Commissioning Group, CCG) and the local perinatal mental health group to design and deliver a survey to find out about the mental health needs of expectant/recent mums and their partners. 

Over 300 women and their partners shared their story with us. 

Read the report 

GP registration for people without a fixed address

Our Mystery Shoppers attempted to contact 23 GP Practices across the Borough to see whether it would be possible to register without proof of a fixed address. 

Our results showed that the majority of practices would accept registrations from people without proof of a fixed address. However, our results also showed that some practices' approach may not align with NHS guidelines. 

Read the report 

Secondary school children's mental health

In 2018, we surveyed over 5000 children and young people in half of the secondary schools in Sutton to find out how they scored on a 'wellbeing' scale, as well as the mental health challenges they've experienced and the support available to them. 

This work was instrumental in the application process that secured an extra £1.8 million of funding for schools to support mental health in young people. We are now working to ensure this funding is used to focus on the issues highlighted in the report. 

This work was recognised as 'Highly Commended' in the 2019 Healthwatch Network Awards in the 'Helping more people to have their say' category. 

Read the report 

Snapshot: An overview of local health and social care services in Sutton 

Snapshot 1 

In early 2018, we asked Sutton residents to complete a short 12 question survey to capture their thoughts on potential changes to health and social care services in Sutton. 

Read the report

Snapshot 2 

Following the success of our Snapshot 1 survey, we conducted a second snapshot survey between October 2019 and January 2020.

We wanted to find out if there have been any shift in local people's views over time by repeating the questions and comparing responses over the 2 year interval. 

Read the report 

St Helier Hospital A&E waiting times 

In 2018, we were approached by Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals NHS Trust to investigate the experience of people using A&E at St Helier Hospital. 

At the time, the Trust was achieving the shortest A&E waiting times in London, but the results of their Friends and Family Test (a service-rating survey) did not seem to be reflecting this success. 

We collected more detailed information about the A&E service to help the Trust make changes and improve the experience of patients, their carers and families.

Read the report 

Inpatient care

In 2016, Sutton residents told us they were concerned about the care their friends and family received whilst staying in local hospitals. 

In response to this, we developed a project to find out what was working well and where improvements could be made. A series of visits were made over a period of 5 weeks in June and July 2016. 

Read the report 

Outpatient care 

In 2015, Sutton residents told us they were not happy with the waiting times at the Outpatient Department in St Helier Hospital. 

Our volunteers visited different outpatient departments within St Helier Hospital and spoke with over 300 patients about their experiences. 

Read the report 

Caring for people with dementia 

Dementia is a growing problem and a growing concern, nationally and locally. 

In 2015, we explored the experiences of local people with dementia and those who care for them, with a view to identifying whether local health and social care services are successfully supporting them and meeting their needs. 

Read the report 

Hospital discharge 

In 2013, hospital discharge was identified as a priority after we received substantial feedback from local people who had experienced problems at local hospitals. 

Our Enter and View volunteers spoke to patients on 5 wards at St Helier Hospital and Springfield Hospital. The patients were asked if they would be willing to take part in a telephone interview once they had gone home. 

In total, 33 patients took part in the interviews and gave a variety of positive and negative views about their experiences. 

Read the report 

Get in touch 

If you want to find out more about any of our projects, or require the documents in a different format, please get in touch with us. 

info@healthwatchsutton.org.uk 

07726 874282

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