Summary of report content
During the Covid-19 pandemic, Healthwatch Oxfordshire heard from patients that it was taking longer to get in touch with their GP surgeries using their surgery websites and by telephone. As patients were being recommended using the practice website, they wanted to find out how easy websites were to navigate for patients. All 67 Oxfordshire GP practice websites were surveyed between November 2020 and January 2021 to assess the ease of use and clarity of information on the site. This was followed up with an assessment of all websites to understand how new patients can find information about how to register and what was required for to complete registration.
All 67 Oxfordshire GP surgeries have a website, but information on these sites was often Inconsistent across different web pages and out of date. Links to internal and external pages didn’t always work and sometimes led to pages with no content.
There is no consistent place to find information about how to make a complaint and the information available was often insufficient. They found it was particularly difficult to find accessible sources of information were hard to find – 10 sites had no accessibility information or capability for the site to be made more accessible. The translate option did not work on 12 of the 67 sites.
Two websites had no self-care information. It was often difficult to find how to contact the Patient Participation Group and most PPG postings were old. Only one site had a direct link to Healthwatch Oxfordshire. A high proportion of websites stated that to complete registration at the practice they needed proof of patient identification and/or proof of address.
The report contains six recommendations about updating information on websites, providing correct information about registration and information about Patient Participation Groups.