Summary of report content
Healthwatch Greenwich wanted to review the information on recorded messages and automated telephony systems at GP surgeries, as a result of experiences reported to them during the Covid-19 pandemic.
Their audit found the quality of information provided to service users in recorded messages and telephony menu options varied between GP surgeries with little standardisation. They found examples of good practice, with welcoming and informative recorded messages and good descriptions of services offered and how to access them. Others were long and included information that was less useful for patients.
Only half of surgeries provided callers with information about the number of people ahead of them in the queue. Just over half told callers about using online triage systems and less than a third provided telephone menu options to book appointments.
Only one in six surgeries provided information for callers who were digitally excluded or needed interpretation services.
Just over a third offered a menu option for test results, with nearly half giving a specific time to call back.
While many recorded messages told callers that repeat prescriptions could not be requested over the telephone, very few informed callers how to request repeat prescriptions.
The report contains 6 recommendations.