The public experience: GP appointments

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch North Yorkshire carried out a survey to find out about people’s experience of their GP practice.

They found satisfaction levels with GP practices to be high across North Yorkshire - 89% of survey respondents for North Yorkshire CCG area said their experience of their GP practice was either very good or fairly good; slightly above national levels (83%) reported in the recent England-wide GP Patient Survey. However, they identified a few issues as well. These include:

  • Difficulties in booking a GP appointment - a few people found it difficult or did not manage to book an appointment at all.
  • Having to give a lot of details to the receptionist who they felt then decided what type of appointment or health professional they would get/or see.
  • A large proportion of respondents reported frustrations with long phone queues when trying to book an appointment.
  • The length of time between booking an appointment and speaking to a healthcare professional was also raised as a concern.
  • Some GP practices have disabled previously available online systems (Engage Consult), leaving no option but to phone.
  • Some respondents were concerned about possible misdiagnosis as a result of phone appointments and the impact of a long waiting window for a phone appointment.
  • A few respondents expressed the problems they have experienced with phone appointments due to being deaf or having autism. However, when they requested a different mode of appointment, such as a video appointment, their request was ignored.


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General details

Report title 
The public experience: GP appointments
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch North Yorkshire
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 8 December, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Wednesday, 5 January, 2022
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 5 January, 2022
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Digitalisation of services
Health inequalities

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
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 
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? 
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
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? 
Not applicable
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 

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.