An examination of GP practice websites

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Leicester and Healthwatch Leicestershire undertook a review of GP websites in response to concerns about access to GPs.  They wanted to see how informative and accessible they are for people.  Volunteers and staff reviewed 118 websites.

They noticed a big difference in the quality and quantity of information available. Some of the websites had limited information, some had sites that were easy to navigate and view but the information on the pages were not up to date or maintained. Some of the sites were grouped together and were very corporate with private advertising, that Healthwatch felt was not in keeping with NHS services.

  • Key information was easy to find and access on the majority of the websites.
  • Coronavirus information was not always current and up to date.
  • Information on the vaccines was variable and there was limited information on vaccine hesitancy.
  • The navigation and visual aspects of the websites varied – the search boxes and translate functions did not always work.
  • Information on NHS tests and results was not easy to find and the process for obtaining results was not always clear.
  • There was limited information on Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) and how to get involved. Reviewers felt there needs to be an explanation about triage and the process available on all websites.
  • Although most websites had the Friends and Family Test visible, there was a lack of data and blank results page.
  • Volunteers felt that details of how to make a complaint was not always easy to find and felt hidden on the website.
  • Volunteers found it difficult to easily find information on Healthwatch, carers support or veterans support.

The report contains 12 recommendations to improve information on GP websites.

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General details

Report title 
An examination of GP practice websites
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Leicester
Healthwatch Leicestershire
Date of publication 
Monday, 16 August, 2021
Key themes 
Complaints procedure
Digitalisation of services
Health protection
Information providing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
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 
Not applicable
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Not applicable
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not applicable
Does the information include staff's views? 
Not applicable
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? 
Not known

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.