Quality in Primary Care Open Access

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The perceptions of older people in Wales about service provision

Gareth Morgan, Geoffrey Mitchell, John Gallacher

BackgroundThe ‘AgeWell Feel Good’ programme is a cohort study of older people in Wales. There is a gap in knowledge on how older people in Wales perceive health and social care services. Research is necessary to help address this gap and to provide an evidence base that informs policy making and service delivery. MethodsA representative sample of 15 000 men and women aged 50 years and over, living in Cardiff, the Welsh capital, were invited to participate in a web-based study of successful ageing. A wide range of data was collected in the study. These included psychological and cognitive assessments, self-reported health, and financial status and deprivation measures. ResultsBased on over 500 responses, information on health and social care service perceptions was analysed. Overall, the perception of service availability was rated as good, yet there was widespread dissatisfaction. Furthermore, only 14% of older people were aware of a major health and social care programme in Wales, the National Service Framework for Older People. DiscussionThe main observation is the difference between service availability and satisfaction that views are sought. In the main, health service availability is good, yet there is widespread dissatisfaction. This raises some questions about the services provided. The evidence provided in this article is a further contribution to the policy-making process. Further work is needed.

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