GP Website survey Report - Support for cancer patients during the Covid-19 crisisDownload (PDF 388KB)
Summary of report content
Healthwatch Southend undertook a mystery shopper exercise to see what information local practice websites held for patients with cancer, especially during the lockdown period.
The work was undertaken by staff and volunteers in June 2020.
During lockdown, virtually all elective interventions for patients with cancer were suspended, increasing anxiety for a vulnerable group of patients. An initial study had been undertaken by Central Bedfordshire to inform the work of the East of England Cancer Alliance; other local Healthwatch branches agreed to replicate the study to add weight to calls for accurate and timely information to be available.
We found a small number of practices which did not have a website at all – four out of 26. Of those which did, all had up to date information about accessing primary care during the pandemic. Information relevant to patients with cancer, especially links to MacMillan Cancer Research, was available on most websites, but might require some searching. Links to cancer support groups were found on about half the websites. Unfortunately some hyperlinks were broken. Most websites lacked a link to Healthwatch Southend.
The CCG has agreed to review our findings and support the updating of websites.