Summary of report content
Healthwatch Lewisham assessed the complaints information on GP websites for ease of access, quality and clarity of information and for accessibility of information for people with additional communication needs. They also checked if the page provided advocacy information and signposted patients on how to escalate their complaints. They obtained an up-to-date list of GPs within the London Borough of Lewisham from the Lewisham Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) which comprised of 38 GP practices, but could access 37 surgeries as one of the websites was not working at the time of writing.
The report found the quality of the information about complaints on local GP websites was not consistent; 6 out of 24 GP surgeries that listed complaints information on their websites provided very detailed information, 7 provided satisfactory levels and 13 either had no information or extremely limited text; of the websites that listed the complaints process, the information was easy to find on the websites’ menus.
The report recommended GP surgeries to update their websites and included suggestions to ensure the information was in an intuitive place describing how the complaint will be handled, time scales and expected steps; provided a named person that the complaint should be addressed to and inform people what options they had to escalate their complaint; provided information on complaining to independent bodies and carry out an annual audit of the information to ensure accuracy.