Summary of report content
Healthwatch Bracknell Forest 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 614 people responded.
Key themes from patients included the availability of appointments, difficulty contacting practices by phone, telephone consultations, online GP services and digital confidence, triaging, staff attitudes and face to face consultations 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 recommendations about phone systems, appointments, IT and communications.