Review of GP websites

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Summary of report content

Volunteers at Healthwatch Halton undertook a review of the information on 14 local GP websites as they had heard that the information on GP websites was sometimes not comprehensive. They wanted to know how easy it would be to find current information on GP surgery websites, how to access GP services, receive the latest information on making appointments and how to keep safe and well during the pandemic.

They found:

  • All websites clearly displayed opening times
  • It was easy to find out how to make an appointment on all websites
  • Half of GP practice websites checked did not have a Covid-19 pop up screen with the latest guidance for the public
  • Two practice sites offered no alternative language options on their websites. On sites which did offer different languages it ranged in number from just two alternative languages up to more than 100
  • Volunteers felt it was often a game of hide and seek as to where information would be displayed
  • Just 2 websites had any information/advice available for cancer patients on potential changes in their cancer care or treatment due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Just 2 sites offered any information or links to local cancer support organisations
  • None of the websites checked detailed specifically how homeless people could register with a practice
  • Only 2 websites had information on both Healthwatch and the Healthwatch Advocacy service. Both of these had incorrect contact details on the Advocacy service. Volunteers found it difficult to easily find information regarding Healthwatch or the Complaints advocacy service
  • Seven of the 14 websites did not clearly describe care navigation or its role
  • Just 6 out of the 14 websites clearly explained their practice boundaries
  • All websites requested some form of ID information for patients to be registered
  • None of the websites checked provided information on the Primary Care Networks

The report contains nine recommendations about the need for accurate and up to date information, including about patient registration, information in different languages, links to self-care, complaints, PPG, Healthwatch and patient advocacy and online triage systems.

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General details

Report title 
Review of GP websites
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Halton
Date of publication 
Friday, 7 May, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Thursday, 10 December, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Friday, 15 January, 2021
Key themes 
Access
Administration
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Complaints procedure
Digitalisation of services
Health promotion
Interpreters
Public involvement
Service delivery organisation and staffing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
Primary research method used 
Observation
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

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 
Not applicable
Age group 
Not known
Gender 
Not known
Ethnicity 
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
No
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Neutral

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
No
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
No
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known

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.