Access to GP-led services across Wiltshire

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Wiltshire undertook research on changes to access to GP services as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic.  They ran a survey for staff working at GP surgeries and for the public.  Altogether 622 people responded.

Overall, Wiltshire patients gave mixed responses, with the majority feeling satisfied that they had reasonable access to their GP practice, a lot of effort was being made under difficult circumstances and many praised staff attitudes. Key concerns included the availability of appointments, difficulty contacting practices, online GP services and digital confidence, triaging, and barriers to access.

The themes from the GP staff survey include a tired, overstretched workforce that are becoming frustrated with the public’s demands and attitudes. There is a call for patient engagement to highlight the way in which triaging works and why this is necessary. But what is most striking is the pride the staff have with how they have delivered consultations to the public and the way in which they have adapted their working practices in the fast paced changes that the Covid-19 pandemic brought about.

The report has 5 recommendations about face to face appointments, better telephone handling systems, more specific time slots for virtual consultations and training for practice staff and GPs.

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General details

Report title 
Access to GP-led services across Wiltshire
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Wiltshire
Date of publication 
Monday, 1 August, 2022
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 October, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 31 December, 2021
Key themes 
Access
Administration
Booking appointments
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Digitalisation of services
Information providing
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff levels
Staff training
Waiting time to be seen once arrived at appointment

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
Primary research method used 
Survey
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice

Details about conditions and diseases

What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 
N/A

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
622
Age group 
Not known
Gender 
Not known
Ethnicity 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Yes
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
Yes
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Administrative
Doctors
Nurses
Receptionists
Service manager
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Mixed

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
No
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
No
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

Network Impact
Relationships that exist locally, regionally, nationally have benefited from the work undertaken in the report
 
Implied Impact
Where it is implied that change may occur in the future as a result of Healthwatch work. This can be implied in a provider  response, press release or other source. Implied impact can become tangible impact once change has occurred.
 
Tangible Impact
There is evidence of change that can be directly attributed to Healthwatch work undertaken in the report.