GP websites: how easy is it to find information?

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Wokingham undertook research into the information on GP websites when they found in their Covid-19 research that 14% of people had delayed seeking treatment from a GP. They reviewed the websites of the 13 GP practices, with the aim of providing public information and sharing best practice. This also involved working with a local learning disability charity to ensure that the information provided was accessible to this group.

The majority of websites did not contain information about what to expect if a patient needed to visit the practice, including wearing a mask, social distancing and whether you could be accompanied. Only 15% of websites provided clear information about how to book a telephone consultation and 8% for E-consultation, which could include video consultations or messaging services depending on the practice. Information on making a complaint or providing feedback was difficult to find in some cases. Patient surveys were not made available by any of the practices. The information regarding patient registration needs to be clearer in terms of people’s rights to register and rights concerning proof of ID if asked.

The report makes six main recommendations covering web site review, guidance on visiting practices, the sharing of good practice, signposting Patient Survey results, information about feedback, and information about patient registration. 

The report includes a response from the provider.

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General details

Report title 
GP websites: how easy is it to find information?
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Wokingham
Date of publication 
Monday, 11 January, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 27 July, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Tuesday, 18 August, 2020
Type of report 
Report
Key themes 
Complaints procedure
Digitalisation of services
Information providing
Healthwatch reference number 
Rep-8018

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
Primary research method used 
Observation
How was the information collected? 
Research
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

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 known
Age group 
Not known
Gender 
Not known
Ethnicity 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
No
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
Does the information include other people's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Neutral

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Yes
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known
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.