GP Website survey Report - Support for cancer patients during the Covid-19 crisis

Download (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.

Would you like to look at:

General details

Report title 
GP Website survey Report - Support for cancer patients during the Covid-19 crisis
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Southend
Date of publication 
Monday, 24 August, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 11 May, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 15 May, 2020
Type of report 
Key themes 
Communication between staff and patients
Information providing
Integration of services
Lifestyle and wellbeing
Quality of care
Other information of note about this report 
Good Practice

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Other local Healthwatch
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
Website Feedback

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
Diagnostic and/or screening service - single handed sessional providers
Urgent care services
Secondary care services 
Cancer services

Details about conditions and diseases

Conditions or diseases 
Types of disabilities 
Not known
Types of long term conditions 
Cancer in the last 5 years

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

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.