Is the NHS 'confusing'?6th November 2008
The Wales Audit Office is urging patients to tell them of their experiences of booking emergency GP appointments and using A&E services in the country.
The finance watchdog has suggested the current system in Wales can be complex and confusing.
The audit, which will also look at GP out of hours services and the NHS Direct phone-line advice service comes after a coroner found a "systematic failure" after a patient from Ceredigion died when trying to call an ambulance and reach her local surgery.
The Wales Audit Office acknowledges the line of inquiry is unusual and stresses it cannot investigate individual cases, but it is anxious to hear people’s views of "unscheduled care".
Auditor general Jeremy Colman said: "It's actually rather unusual for us to issue a consultation of this kind but what we're looking into is all the various ways in which people can get unscheduled care in the NHS, and there are a great many ways in which unscheduled care arises.
"We want to hear directly from citizens, the people who experience it, what it's like, good experiences and some less good experiences.
"This will help us design a study which we hope will lead to big improvements in the way unscheduled care operates in Wales."
Carol Jones, director of the board of community health councils in Wales, said she felt there were too many points of contact between patients and the health service in Wales.
She added: "There is confusion at the present time, there's no doubt about that."
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Title: Is the NHS 'confusing'?
Author: Mark Nicholls
Article Id: 9092
Date Added: 6th Nov 2008