Accessing care through GP practices in Gloucestershire

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Gloucestershire conducted a survey, focus groups and interviews with 618 people about their experiences of accessing GPs during November and December 2020.

The report found that people appreciate having a variety of ways to contact and book appointments with their GP and other Practice staff. People like having different ways to have a consultation with their GP, such as telephone or video calls, as well as face-to-face. The different ways of engaging with their GP are not always obvious to the public. eConsult is too complicated, too long and does not flow. People find it frustrating and off-putting. The option to send a message to the GP Practice is much better received. People like a telephone holding system to tell them where they are in the queue. People value being listened to and treated as an individual, and they do not always feel they are. People do not like having to repeat their story to different GPs. Not knowing when to expect a call back causes inconvenience and frustration. Prescription ordering systems have improved since the start of the pandemic and are now more streamlined. People feel that GP Practice staff do not give them enough time nor their full attention. A significant minority of people felt that staff do not communicate effectively with someone living with dementia. GP Practice websites mostly hold all relevant information, but they are not always user friendly, easy to navigate, nor completely accessible.

A number of recommendations were made to address these issues and the report was shared with the CCG who responded positively to the report. 

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General details

Report title 
Accessing care through GP practices in Gloucestershire
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Gloucestershire
Date of publication 
Friday, 26 February, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 23 November, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 6 December, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Health promotion
Holistic support
Information providing
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of appointment
Quality of care
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes
Staff training
Waiting time to be seen once arrived at appointment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
Focus group
Structured interview
How was the information collected? 
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
All people 18 and over
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

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.