Summary of report content
Healthwatch Portsmouth undertook research to understand if local people were aware of new arrangements for extended access to GP surgeries and their experience of using the service. They undertook a survey between March and October 2019 to which 592 people responded.
Nearly nine in ten people who responded were not aware of the new enhanced access service. Seven in ten said that it is important to see their regular named GP. This may mean that there is a resistance to go to a different surgery, to see a GP other than their known GP.
Over two in five said that they were not happy to go to an alternative surgery to see a GP.
The pressures on Portsmouth QA Hospital’s A&E have grown, as demonstrated in waiting times reports.
There has been a failure in the service promotion, advertising, and communication to Portsmouth residents. Due to the poor quality of information and limited promotion of the new EAS service It has not been conveyed to the public that there is a new service they can use; out of hours, same day, and for routine appointments, as an alternative to attending the QA Hospital A&E Department. Patients and public are, as in the hypothesis, not informed and therefore unable to change their decision making and behaviour in the use of A&E services.
The report contains 5 recommendations about better publicising the new extended access service.