GP Access Survey Report, Plymouth

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Summary of report content

In December 2016 Healthwatch Plymouth became aware of comments on social media regarding difficulties contacting GP surgeries by telephone. They launched a survey to ascertain how well the public perceived the surgeries by asking five main questions. The survey was conducted at various public places from December 2016 to March 2017. 282 responses were received, 274 from the Plymouth area and 8 from further afield. In addition to the main questions details were also obtained of the GP surgery that the respondent was registered with and any further comments they would like to make. Factors to be considered when assessing the results of the survey are the number of replies received overall and for a particular surgery, the number of people registered at each surgery and whether the surgery is part of a group, alliance or federation. Consideration should also be given to the timeline of the report being during the winter months when health services are accessed more by patients. Conclusions were made following the survey that generally contact with a surgery first thing in the morning was difficult, overall patients requiring an urgent appointment were seen or had a call back by a GP within 24 hours, routine appointments were generally obtained within two weeks. Recommendations were made that Healthwatch Plymouth carry out a further survey at the end of 2017 for comparison, meetings to be held with the poorest surgery to implement plans for improvement, NHS England to consider using patient experiences as part of any service recommissioning.

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General details

Report title 
GP Access Survey Report, Plymouth
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Plymouth
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 8 August, 2017
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 12 December, 2016
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 3 March, 2017
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
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 
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 
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? 
Not known
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
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.