GP website check up

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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GP surgeries have a website, but information on these sites was often Inconsistent across different web pages and out of date.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.

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General details

Report title 
GP website check up
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Oxfordshire
Date of publication 
Thursday, 22 April, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Sunday, 1 November, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 31 January, 2021
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Health inequalities
Information providing
Service delivery organisation and staffing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
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 
Not applicable
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
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
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? 
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.