Information about services on dentists and GP websites during coronavirus outbreakDownload (PDF 211KB)
Summary of report content
Healthwatch Bucks undertook mystery shopping of dentist and GP websites to see whether there was information about how they were working during the Covid-19 pandemic. They assessed:
- what information there was on dentist websites about how to get treatment when the surgeries had to be closed (in May)
- what information there was on dentist websites about how they were working when they could reopen (in June)
- what GP websites said about how they were delivering services (in July)
They found some great examples of websites that provided clear information about services. They also found websites where it wasn’t easy to see how the practice was operating or where it looked as though the way services were being delivered as usual. A few didn’t seem to mention COVID-19 arrangements at all.
Healthwatch Bucks welcomes the approach taken by many practices of having all the key information in one place. This was often on the homepage or one page away. This is a helpful way to draw peoples’ attention to important changes.
They know from another project that people look to the websites of local organisations for trusted information. This suggests that more patients could be encouraged to use websites for service information (eg via links in texts, on social media or telephone messages). This could help free the telephones for those without access to the internet.
The report contains separate recommendations for dentists and GPs about how to improve the information on their websites about services during the Covid-19 pandemic.