North Yorkshire GP website check up

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch North Yorks undertook a health check of the websites of local GPs to evaluate the usefulness of the information they contained from the perspective of the public, particularly in relation to service changes due to Covid-19.  Six volunteers assessed the content of local GP websites from 30 November to 20 December 2020.

Some GP websites were very good, providing a wide range of up-to-date information and appear to have considered their patients as the main users of their site. Over a fifth of GP websites scored positively in 7 or more health check questions. Most websites had links to official NHS or Government COVID-19 information, but there were a significant number of GP practices in North Yorkshire who did not have up-to-date and easily accessible COVID-19 information on their website.

Most websites made it easy to understand how to make an appointment. However, it was also not always clear what types of appointments were available. The appointment options were often situated in multiple locations, potentially creating confusion for patients.

Over nine in ten GP websites provided clear and helpful information about self-care and support organisations to help people take control of their own health.

However, there were websites with many areas in need of improvement. A small number passed less than four health check questions.

Very few GP websites had information about the national vaccination programme. Now that the programme has started, it is important that up-to-date information, detailing progress to date in respect of differing patient cohorts, be made available on GP websites. This could reduce the number of contacts made by anxious patients.

There was insufficient support for interpreter service provision, with only a third providing information on interpreter services. Only half of all GP websites made it easy to find out how to make a complaint. Less than half of GP websites provided up-to-date information about their Patient Participation Group.

The report contains 9 recommendations aimed at improving the information on GP websites.

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General details

Report title 
North Yorkshire GP website check up
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch North Yorkshire
Date of publication 
Tuesday, 9 March, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 30 November, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 20 December, 2020
Key themes 
Complaints procedure
Information providing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 

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
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Does the information include staff's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

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.