Summary of report content
Healthwatch Bucks undertook a survey of the public about their experience of healthcare appointments, including whether pre-existing appointments had been cancelled, during the Covid-19 pandemic. They received responses from 479 people who said they lived in Bucks or used services in the county and had an appointment after 23rd March until the survey closed.
Just over a third of the appointments had been booked before 23rd March. Over two thirds of the hospital appointments had been made before 23rd March, whereas nearly nine in ten of GP appointments were made after that date. Of the 479 responses 43% were about a hospital appointment and 57% related to a GP appointment.
For hospital appointments nearly half were cancelled or postponed by the service and 10% of GP appointments. Over two in five appointments took place remotely, mostly by telephone. Very few patients said they’d cancelled or postponed their appointment themselves.
The report explores whether people had received instructions or advice to prepare for their face-to-face appointment, the precautions taken to protect them from catching Covid-19; their experience of remote appointments, what happened if the appointment had been cancelled by the GP or hospital and by the patient.
The report contains recommendations about providing information to people about their appointments and how to improve remote appointments.