Summary of report content
Healthwatch Redbridge conducted a project that aimed to find out any issues contacting or searching GP practice websites in Redbridge. They wanted to find out whether every practice had a website, how easy it was to find, and what contact methods were available for patients to contact their GP.
Four researchers, two with additional support and communication needs, assessed the websites of 42 GP practices in Redbridge. Out of the 41 GP practices with their own websites, all researchers were able to find 35 of them. Most websites (40/41), were categorised 'easy' to find by at least one researcher. Of the 41 GP practices with websites, the majority (35) have a complaints policy available on their website, however six do not.
Information on the websites showed that seventeen of the practices are contactable by telephone and fax. Thirteen practices are only contactable by telephone. Eight are contactable by both telephone and email. Three practices are contactable by telephone, email, and fax.
Healthwatch Redbridge made several recommendations in this report:
- GP practices should seek to publicise their website address and ensure it is easily accessible to patients.
- All practices should have a website with up-to-date information.
- All GP practices should ensure they have information regarding their complaints policy available on their website and ensure it is easy to find. The document (and additional complaints form if required) should be downloadable. This is especially relevant now, during the pandemic, as patients are unable to drop into their GP practice to pick up this information.
- Practices should offer an email address as an alternative method for patients to contact their practice. This information should be prominently displayed on their website and within the “Contact Information” section of the website.