What we heard about health & social care in April to June 2022

August 18, 2022

Healthwatch Birmingham listens to your experiences of health and social services in Birmingham. We use what you tell us to find out more about what’s working well, and what needs to change.

Every piece of feedback helps to improve local health and social care, and the more we hear the more impact we can have. So please share your views on the services you use and find out how your feedback makes a difference.

During April to June 2022 we heard 661 pieces of feedback. We heard the most feedback about primary care services (GPs and dentists), followed by hospitals.



We heard about people’s experiences of 17 different hospitals.

The most common things people told us about were:

Long waits for treatment

I am on waiting list to see a urology consultant since last one year and they say it will take another 6 months.

Long waits in A&E

I phoned 111 and paramedics came and they took my husband to A&E. He was lying for hours there in wet clothes due to urinary infection. He was later diagnosed with Pneumonia and given bed after 8 hours of waiting.

Praise for staff

I have had very good service. We have the best hospital in the world and I am cared for well.

Poor communication

To be honest the experience was a catalogue of disasters from start to finish, but poor communication, and the lack of listening was a major contributor. Whilst we fully appreciate the challenges being faced within the NHS at present (I am a nurse), listening to patients and carers is not a difficult activity.  The staff in A&E were told he was immunocompromised, yet left him amongst other patients and without a vomit bowl. There is no dignity in being covered in vomit. Staff in A&E were also rude to his wife. This really isn’t acceptable regardless of how stressed staff are. Carers and patients are stressed too.

Problems with making complaints

Whist I was in [service redacted] I needed to come home to make my child’s meals as the hospital could not cater to his dietary needs. I was informed by the ward sister I could not return until 6 hours had passed? Pals has given me a wrong email to complain/ ask for clarification for this 6 hour guideline.

Language barriers

There is a language barrier. I have no way to ask questions about the services I use. I need interpreters for all the services I access. It is always difficult to contact them on phone and when I’m at the appointment it is difficult to get an interpreter.

Issues with misdiagnosis

Taken to the hospital with suspected kidney stones by Ambulance. Was told all ok and was send back home. Following week fainted fell down stairs and was taken back to hospital with kidney stones sepsis that should have treated the previous week.


GP Practices

We heard about people’s experiences of 117 different GP practices.

The most common things people told us about were:

Difficulties getting appointments

It is impossible to get a doctor’s appointment. You can’t get past reception. My husband is 78 years is diabetic and is at start of dementia but we have to do phone calls. Would change doctors but they all seem the same. God help us what’s happened to our lovely NHS.

Issues with remote appointments

My husband can’t use computer and its impossible for him to book an appointment online.

Role of receptionists

The receptionist do as they please they will openly talk about other patients in front of waiting patients and make fun of them. They have called me telling the test results for someone I don’t even know.

Praise for staff

I am very happy & pleased by the service provided. The doctor is always available and listens to me and explains everything very well.

Problems registering with a GP for people who are homeless, asylum seekers or in temporary accommodation

We are a migrant family being hosted in temporary accommodation and we are finding it hard to register and get support at a permanent GP practice.


Mental Health

We heard about people’s experiences of eight different services.

The most common things people told us about were:

Poor quality of care

Every time I try to get in touch with the [community team] team they either fail to get back to me or no one seems to have any answers to my questions. Rude, psychologically abusive and unprofessional staff.

Praise for staff

My son attended [service redacted] for several weeks. He loved going there. Up until now he has refused to attend anywhere but [service redacted] has such welcoming friendly and devoted staff that he felt very relaxed there. Staff were amazing and not only cared about my son but also about me as his mother. They gave me information for support for myself too.



We heard about people’s experiences of 26 different services.

The most common things people told us about were:

Problems accessing out of hours or emergency care

Long wait of 2 weeks for emergency appointments.

Praise for staff

Dentist was really nice and I was pleased with the work done. I am usually scared of dentist but he made me feel at ease.


Social Care

We heard about people’s experiences of 17 different services.

The most common things people told us about were:

Praise for staff

Carers have been on the time I wanted. They are good at doing tasks. And their communication is better you can tell they are well trained.

Poor quality of care

Dealing with late stages in life I need much more help and support with my husband and I prefer to speak to one person or a familiar face as I get stressed out as things go wrong and I cannot get across my message. Also I explain to many people over the phone and they interrupt me and talk to fast which is concerning. I cannot take in a lot of information at the same time. They need to understand the condition of their patients.

Issues accessing Local Authority support

I have contact them last December 2021 to discuss care and direct payment regard my father but no response at all and tried this month May 2022 still did not contact me or reply.



We heard about people’s experiences of 21 different pharmacies.

The most common things people told us about were:

Delays issuing prescriptions

Prescription is never ready. Leave it a few days and then come back and still don’t have it.

Praise for staff

They helped me when I had an accident and spilt acid down my leg. They gave me the cream I needed by asking my doctor.


For more information please email Paul Clarke, Marketing and Communications Manager on paulc@healthwatchbirmingham.co.uk

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