GP Practice visits

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Summary of report content

During September 2017, Healthwatch Middlesbrough visited 41 GP practices across South Tees to provide practices with updated contact details and information leaflets. The visits were also used as an opportunity to identify what information was made available to patients in waiting rooms, what methods of communication were being used, and how patients with hearing loss were able to book appointments. Practices had been given the new Healthwatch material and had been made aware of the visits but the majority of frontline staff were not expecting the Healthwatch representatives and few practices were displaying Healthwatch information. The report states that there were 9 GP Practices who had a text service or text to talk interpreting system to enable patients with hearing loss to book appointments independently, although it was noted that in other practices their were online bookings available, or options for carers/ relatives to make bookings on a patients behalf. The report noted that Healthwatch recommend that they build a closer working relationship with Practices and also outlined their desire to be more involved with Patient Participation Groups to facilitate better information sharing. The next steps for this project are to continue to look into issues faced by patients with hearing loss and also to follow up with all GP practices over the following 12 months, with an additional request that all promotional material for Healthwatch and the Independent Care Advocacy service is displayed in a visible and accessible area for patients.

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General details

Report title 
GP Practice visits
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Middlesbrough
Healthwatch Redcar & Cleveland
Date of publication 
Thursday, 11 January, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 1 September, 2017
Date evidence capture finished 
Saturday, 30 September, 2017
Type of report 
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Information providing
Quality of care
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Other local Healthwatch
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
As of 1 April 2017 Healthwatch Middlesbrough and Healthwatch Redcar & Cleveland were jointly commissioned to deliver Healthwatch South Tees. This work appears to have been carried out as a result of this joint commissioning.
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider
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 about conditions and diseases

Types of disabilities 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
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
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Does the information include other people's views? 
Not applicable
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Not known

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.