Patient. Noun. Adjective: Understanding the experience of waiting for care

Launch event for the publication of a report on understanding the experience of waiting for care: TUESDAY, 27 OCTOBER 2020

National Voices would like to invite you to join a launch event for the publication of their latest report on understanding the experience of waiting for care.

Join us at this webinar to learn the key findings and to hear from our panel:

  • Prof Helen Stokes-Lampard PhD FRCGP, Chair, Academy of Medical Royal Colleges.

  • Siva Anandaciva, Chief Analyst, The King's Fund.

  • Rachel Burnham, Head of Elective Care Recovery & Improvement, Guy’s & St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust.

Hosted by:

  • Dr Charlotte Augst, Chief Executive, National Voices

  • Sam Hudson, Director, Überology.


National Voices was asked by NHS England and Improvement to explore the experience of waiting for care. We wanted to understand how waits, delays and cancellations impact on people and their families, particularly those living with long term, multiple and chronic conditions.

In January National Voices commissioned a review of the existing literature in the Patient Experience Library, together with an analysis of insights collected by Care Opinion.

With the arrival of Covid-19, we adapted our methodology and focus to explore experiences before and during the pandemic, to expand the scope beyond elective care and to include consideration of alternative, ‘virtual’ healthcare service solutions.

We carried out over twenty interviews with people with a range of physical and mental health conditions who were wating for a mix of appointments and procedures and at all ‘points in the journey’, from first symptoms, diagnosis, through treatment (apart from Accident & Emergency (A&E)).

The findings reveal that communication is the key to a more positive experience of waiting: receipt of referral, a number to call, an estimate of how long you might wait, regular updates on delays, and access to support and self-management whilst waiting. We also know that waiting is much worse when there is physical pain and mental anguish and when quality of life is much diminished.

Covid-19 has led to cancellations and delays, and it is clear that waiting will be an important feature of healthcare in England in years to come. Health inequalities also impact on access to care and treatment and the experience of waiting. This makes the findings here even more important.

If you have any questions about the launch or the wider series of webinars, please don't hesitate to e-mail us at

Tue, 27 October 2020
Event time: 
1:00 PM - 2:00 PM