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Home » News and events » News archive » News archive 2020 » the BIG conversation on healthcare - results revealed

the BIG conversation on healthcare - results revealed

From supporting people to meet targets to improve their healthcare before planned operations through to providing more opportunities to access healthcare services faster via technology, the results of the BIG conversation on healthcare in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough have been revealed.

Almost 6,000 local people shared their views on healthcare services with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) as part of the BIG conversation.

Local people shared their views on ten short questions, as well as sharing any other ideas or insights, which have been reported to the CCG Governing Body and shared online. From prescribing medicines to how we access services, a wide range of feedback was gathered via the BIG conversation that will help to shape how healthcare services are designed and bought (commissioned) in the future.

As part of the BIG conversation the CCG heard that…

  • 93% of people thought that we should only prescribe items that could not be easily purchased over the counter
  • 88% of people thought that we should redirect people to other NHS services if they went to A&E and didn’t have a serious injury or illness
  • 79% of people wanted to access healthcare services faster via technology, for example telephone appointments with their doctor or live chat with a trained healthcare professional
  • 77% of people would be happy to have targets set to improve their own health, such as stopping smoking, reducing their weight or alcohol consumption, before planned operations
  • 73% people would like on place to contact for advice and treatment which could book them an urgent appointment with the right service within two days or sooner
  • 70% of people would rather travel further for a specialist appointment if they could be seen quicker
  • 67% of people said that if a doctor thought they needed to be referred to hospital you should be seen as soon as possible


Dr Gary Howsam, Clinical Chair of Cambridgeshire and Peterborough CCG, commented:

“I want to say a big thank you to everyone who took part in the BIG conversation and shared their views with us about healthcare services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough. The responses have given us a wealth of information that will help inform the decisions we make in the future about the services we commission.

“Previously we have reached out to our local community to ask them about specific issues when we were looking to make a change to local healthcare services. Whereas, the BIG conversation enables us to bring in the voice of our population into the heart of our future plans for healthcare services in Cambridgeshire and Peterborough.”

However, not all questions generated such a strong response. When it came to the question about how we could save money, people were divided on how best to approach the challenge. 43% thought we should review all of our services and only keep the ones that had the greatest positive impact on the health of our community, while stopping others, compared to 57% who thought we should make smaller reductions to most of our services.

When it came to routine follow up appointments after a treatment, where everything has gone well, only 11% of people thought they should be seen face-to-face to be reassured that everything had gone well. Whereas, 41% would be happy to have a telephone call or video call with a health professional to follow-up and determine if you needed to see a Doctor if there was any concern, whilst 48% of people said that in most cases, if there was no need for a follow-up appointment, they would be happy to be given a number to call if they had any concerns in the future.

The feedback will be used as a framework for the CCG when it is looking to buy healthcare services in the future, but any future healthcare service changes would still be subject to full and proper consultation.

You can view the full BIG conversation report here.