A sizable minority of people in Oxford who are vulnerable and on low incomes are struggling to get the health care they need due to poor communication or being offered inappropriate health care options.
Alarmingly 13 per cent of people we surveyed did not get the health service they needed. Language barriers or being a non-UK national was the most common indicator. Some of those who did get treatment could not understand the prescriptions of particular medications. Lack of information about opening hours of surgeries, choice of services, status of referrals for specialist and likely waiting times were all cited as issues. Booking appointments on-line tended to exclude those who had poor access to IT and low IT skills and confidence.
A number of people said that they were offered treatment options that were unrealistic due to high transport cost. One patient of pensioner age had to pay for a £300 taxi fare to get treatment.
We are now calling on Oxford health care providers to be more aware of the needs of vulnerable people and to tailor their communications and advice so that services genuinely address the concerns of this group.
Full report including executive summary available here
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