Citizens Focus Panel: December 2020 - GP and pharmacy access

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Cheshire conducted a survey into GP and Pharmacy access during December 2020 relating to access during the COVID-19 pandemic from 50 people. 

The report found that a considerable number of people reported that they don’t want to overburden services at the moment. This is further evidenced by concerns about making and attending appointments. Despite their concerns, many people have made contact with their GP over the last few months, albeit with some increased difficulty, due to demand. Many indicated that issues communicating with their pharmacy and less availability of medicines was particularly prevalent in the early months of the pandemic. Queues outside to access services, often in adverse weather conditions, were common. People accepted the need for such measures however, and felt safe accessing their pharmacy, despite the difficult circumstances.

Healthwatch Cheshire will feed this information to those who provide and commission health and care services to improve the future experiences of people. The next survey will begin in January 2021.

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General details

Report title 
Citizens Focus Panel: December 2020 - GP and pharmacy access
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Cheshire East
Healthwatch Cheshire West and Chester
Date of publication 
Friday, 12 February, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 1 December, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Thursday, 31 December, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Building and facilities
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Communication between staff and patients
Digitalisation of services
Holistic support
Information providing
Quality of treatment
Service closure
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Waiting time to be seen once arrived at appointment
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
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 
Community pharmacy
GP practice

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
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? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

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.