The experience of primary care staff and patients in County Durham

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Summary of report content

In 2018 Healthwatch County Durham (HWCD) was approached by the Clinical Commissioning Groups (CCGs) to independently evaluate the Care Navigation system. Care Navigation is the system where trained, non-clinical staff, talk to patients when they book an appointment, providing information about the professionals or services that may be suitable for a patient’s needs. The CCGs wanted to understand the views and experiences of staff who were implementing the system and patients who were using it.

HWCD developed 2 surveys to capture the views of staff and patients independently. They emailed the staff survey to Practice Managers and asked them to forward the survey on to appropriate staff. In addition, HWCD staff visited GP practices and talked to staff from 10 surgeries across the County. Approximately 500 staff across both CCGs have been trained in Care Navigation and we have received 115 completed surveys, although it should be noted that some surveys were completed by groups of staff and not just by individuals.

HWCD advertised the patient survey on social media, through partners/networks and GP surgeries. They received 352 completed surveys from patients. 

Care Navigation was seen as a positive development by both staff and patients but more could be done to improve the service. Suggestions for improvements have been made in the report. 

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General details

Report title 
The experience of primary care staff and patients in County Durham
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch County Durham
Date of publication 
Monday, 25 March, 2019
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 25 June, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Monday, 31 December, 2018
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Information providing
Quality of appointment
Quality of staffing
Staff attitudes
Staff levels
Staff training
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
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 
GP practice

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Specific ethnicity if known 
Sexual orientation 
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 
All care professionals
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.