Darlington Primary Care

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Darlington’s ‘What’s important to you survey’ found that the people of Darlington were raising concerns about access to General Practice (GP) services. They used the findings of previous research they did and undertook further research where they spoke to 430 people.

The findings of the survey give information about how people perceived the services to be; from booking appointments, choice, communication, administration, and accessibility whilst also incorporating feedback from receptionists and nurse practitioners..

Better communication was also a common theme, not just from a service users perspective but also from professionals within the system. Education was also thought to be important, especially regarding the perceived role of staff by the public. Distributing useful information to the public about the different roles within the practice could help the patient understand who they have an appointment with and why, and also what different terms mean, such as self-care, and why it is not always necessary to see a named doctor. Primary care needs to be more aware of the help and support that is out there for patients and to use statutory organisations such as Healthwatch Darlington to help with signposting people to other organisations across the Borough.

The report contains 10 recommendations about working together, more user-friendly websites and better information on services.

The report includes a response from the provider and commissioner.

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General details

Report title 
Darlington Primary Care
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Darlington
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 11 November, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Sunday, 1 September, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 31 December, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Information providing
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 
Engagement event
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 
Not known
Not known
Not 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? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Service manager
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? 
Not known
What type of impact was determined? 
Tangible impact (not cost related)

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.