Experiences of accessing Primary Care Services in Shropshire

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Shropshire undertook research into people’s experiences of access to primary care as a result of services provided by General Practices and Pharmacies, as they had identified that this was not the same across the county.  They spoke to 80 people.

Healthwatch looked at the ease of getting appointments at GP practices.  There was a mix of views as to whether this was a problem: most of the patients spoken to during their Enter & View felt it was ‘easy’ or ‘very easy’ to get an appointment at their surgery, but the experiences shared by patients through Healthwatch Shropshire’s general engagement were predominantly negative. Experiences of online booking of appointments was mixed. The availability of appointments with clinicians other than doctors varies across practices.  Nearly 3 out of five people who spoke to Healthwatch about accessing routine appointments reported a negative experience.

Over 4 in 5 of people who told Healthwatch about accessing urgent appointments reported a positive experience, but nine of the 11 people spoken to about extended access appointments reported a negative experience.  Less than 1 in 3 had heard about the scheme.

Other issues explored in the report included continuity of car, liaison between general practice and pharmacies, general practice opening hours and appointment reminders.

There were 5 recommendations about promoting extended appointments, online and urgent appointments and improving communications between general practice and pharmacies. 

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General details

Report title 
Experiences of accessing Primary Care Services in Shropshire
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Shropshire
Date of publication 
Monday, 15 June, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Saturday, 1 June, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 21 January, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Continuity of care
Digitalisation of services
Information providing
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 
Engagement event
Focus group
User stories
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 
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? 
Not known
Does the information include staff's views? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
Not known
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? 
Not known
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.