Mystery shopping report: Bury GP practice registration information

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Summary of report content

registering new patients, GP practices in Bury were following the guidance produced in 2016 (revised in February 2021) about registration of new patients

There are 29 GP practices in Bury, Healthwatch mystery shoppers managed to contact 28 of those surgeries.

The majority (93%) of the GP practices Healthwatch mystery shoppers spoke to advised patients to go into the surgery to pick up the registration form to take home for completion or go onto the GP surgery’s website and download a copy from there.

Over half of the GP practices initially said that some form of ID is required to register with the GP practice. In general GP surgeries asked to see for a proof of address, passport, birth certificate, driving license, bus pass, prescription form etc. Practices can have a policy in place to ask patients to provide identification, but they cannot insist on seeing it to register them. Seeing some form of ID will help to correctly match a patient to the NHS central patient registry and enable quicker access to any previous medical notes.

Almost all practices specified that the patient is required to live within the surgery’s catchment area

Three mystery shoppers were advised to ring 119 for further advice regarding vaccinations. Over two thirds of the surgeries (19 out of 28) said the vaccine would be arranged by their GP once the patient had been registered or they would be allocated to a vaccination centre.

The report contains four recommendations to improve registration of new patients.

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General details

Report title 
Mystery shopping report: Bury GP practice registration information
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Bury
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 11 August, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 1 February, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 31 March, 2021
Key themes 
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff attitudes

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
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? 
Not known

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.