Summary of report content
Healthwatch Staffordshire and Healthwatch Stoke on Trent devised surveys to understand people’s experiences of accessing a range of primary care services during the Covid-19 pandemic. They spoke to 299 people.
Seven out of ten people were only offered telephone or video appointments with their GP. Two thirds were able to see the primary care professional they wished to see. Two in five said that Covid-19 had stopped them from accessing services.
One in ten needed support to access their primary care appointment. This included people with hearing loss who had digital appointments and not being able to lip read when professionals wear masks. Three in five were not offered any alternative care if they couldn’t access an appointment.
People were not kept up to date with important changes due to the Covid Pandemic and looked to various sources of information to find out the information they were looking for.
Seven in ten people in Stoke on Trent had a negative experience with their GP surgery. Over a third reported problems contacting their GP for an appointment. People found it very difficult to get an appointment, so had to go to A&E, NHS111 or the local walk in centre to get care.
People also reported the positive experiences they had during the pandemic, including prescriptions.
There were five sets of recommendations about access to appointments, medication, communication, access to services and information.