Summary of report content
Healthwatch Doncaster worked closely with Primary Care Doncaster - the GP Federation - and NHS Doncaster Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) to find out more about the experience patients who accessed appointments to see healthcare assistants, nurses and GPs in their local surgery via video or telephone call. 320 people responded.
Nearly three quarters had had a telephone appointment, over one in five had a face to face appointment and just 5% had had a video appointment.
People who had had a face-to-face appointment were asked to share their experiences of the changes made in their practice as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. On the whole there were generally positive comments that were supportive of the changes and adaptations.
Three quarters of those who had had either a telephone or video appointment experienced no problems at all. Three percent said there were lots of problems and the appointment didn’t work for them. Nearly three quarters felt that that their recent appointment was good or very good. People were very pleased to see a clinician and get help with their condition.
More people had telephone appointments that video appointments and some feedback suggests that patients would prefer a video appointment because they feel that seeing someone gives them a better experiential outcome and provides a good alternative to physical appointments. There was a lot of praise about the telephone consultations and appointments that included the speed of callbacks and the quality of the service.
Some of the issues related to telephone and video appointments are linked to communication barriers. This was evidenced by members of the deaf community and people whose first language is not English. There were also improvements highlighted around making sure that older people could use and were confident around the use of technology and telephone/video appointments. People also wanted video instead of telephone appointments and timeslots for appointments could be more specific and take into consideration those who are at work or working from home.