Patient Participation Group activity March – June 2020 Supporting surgeries and patients during Covid-19Download (PDF 198KB)
Summary of report content
During May 2020 Healthwatch Oxfordshire contacted all Patient Participation Groups (PPGs) in Oxfordshire to hear how the Covid-19 pandemic had impacted on their activity. 18 PPGs completed the online survey.
Most PPGs were still in touch with their surgery using email, telephone, and in Bicester all three practices and PPGs met via Zoom. A minority of PPGs who responded were still supporting their practice.
PPGs continue to utilise different ways of communicating with their members including email, notice in surgeries and via the practice website. Other methods included using local newsletters, local papers, and village websites.
Text messages and via the practice website were the most common forms of communication between practice and patient identified by the respondents.
Seven of respondents are working with other PPGs in their Primary Care Network. The PPGs in the North appeared more active than other areas.
The biggest change to surgery services reported is that many patients before a visit to their GP surgery are triaged first over the telephone. This is then usually followed up by either a telephone or video consultation with a GP. Online consults are also now being used more widely.
A few comments received highlighted the difficulty for those where speech is affected; patients who are deaf, have had strokes or have a mental or physical disability are unable to use telephone consultations effectively but it is all that is offered most of the time to discuss symptoms there was also mention that some surgery staff were not following social distancing rules.
GPs have listened to them and made changes to their website, produced newsletters for their patients explaining Covid-19.