Communication with Health Professionals

At our events we often hear that communication with healthcare professionals could be better. In September 2018, local people discussed how professionals could better listen to our feedback and involve us in decisions.
Health care professionals attend Healthwatch Asssembly
Being empowered, knowing that the doctor knows, understands, increases confidence.

What we did

We wanted to hear if people felt they could have their say by raising concerns and complaints if necessary, about health and care services. Good feedback can help to resolve problems and inform improvement.

We talked about this and recorded what people said.  Many local organisations are looking at improving how they collect feedback.  We wanted to hear what people thought works well, and less well.   

We also wanted to show people how to raise a concern and provide feedback to healthcare organisations. 

We had a presentation from our Healthwatch Information and Signposting lead about where people can go to find the information they need.

We asked participants two questions:

Can you give examples of a positive interaction with a healthcare professional
and how has this helped you?

What advice would you give a health or social care professional about how best
to communicate with them when it comes to making decisions?

We also left paper surveys with additional questions.

Key Findings

  • Healthcare professionals expressed a desire to engage and involve patients in the decision-making processes concerning their health plans and treatment.
  • Interaction with healthcare professionals needs to involve listening actively with empathy, honesty and respect.
  • Communication with healthcare professionals must be accessible, easy to read, simple and clear to understand.
  • Not knowing how to make a complaint or who to speak to when things go wrong, therefore, certain groups of people may not complain or may find it difficult to complain.

People want to make decisions about their health, but they also want professionals to explain to them the risks, benefits and consequences for the decisions they make.

They also want:

  • More information about medical examinations or side effects of prescribed medication.
  • Healthcare professionals to listen more actively and read in-between the lines in order to understand their broader health needs
  • Communication and conversations to describe the problem fully using English as well as alternative languages where necessary.
  • A platform for people from diverse communities to be able to make complaints and managers to be more accessible and approachable and respond to complaints more promptly.
  • Overall, they felt their feedback will increase patient confidence and a positive shared experience.

If you were not able to attend our event in September 2019 but want to hear more information about providing feedback and raising concerns, the information is avilable on our website.

Read more


Healthwatch Wandsworth report on Communication with Healthcare Professionals

If you need this report in a different format, please e mail or call 020 8516 7767

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