Review of Hackney GP surgery websites

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Hackney undertook a review of Hackney GP websites as the importance of up to date information on GP websites had assumed a greater importance during the Covid-19 website.  The review was undertaken in June and July 2021 and results compared with a similar review a year earlier.

Only 3 out of the 38 practices reviewed provided information about the option to have an extended consultation. This includes and how and when patients can book double appointments to have an extended consultation. This information is needed in order to accommodate the needs of patients with learning disabilities, and communication issues, as well as patients with complex needs.

The majority of GP practices (30 out of 38) did not promote information about the right to have an interpreter. Some Hackney residents have little or no English making it difficult for them to explain their symptoms and understand essential information about issues such as medication. Relying on friends and family is often not appropriate for reason of confidentiality as well as an ability to correctly translate complex medical terminology.

Seventeen out of 38 practices reviewed were still requesting proof of ID and/or address as a requirement to prove eligibility to register as a patient. The NHS guidance is clear that there is no regulatory requirement to prove identity, address, immigration status or an NHS number in order to register as a patient and no contractual requirement for GPs to request this.

Just over half of all practices (19 out of 38) do not provide information about their complaints policy, or the information was hard to find. Many of the GP websites did not provide an online form which patients can use to file an official complaint. Providing an online form makes filing complaints easier and more confidential for patients.

The Patient Participation Group is a group of patients, carers and GP practice staff who meet to discuss practice issues and patient experience to improve the service. None of the practices reviewed were promoting meeting dates or providing up to date minutes from previous meetings. This information is important for patients who want to get involved further, have their say or know more about how their practice is run.

 Social prescribing is a way for local agencies to refer people to a link worker. Most practices (25 out of 38) had no information about social prescribing. Three practices provided clear information about services and ten others had the service listed among other services, so further information was needed.

Most practices were offering full online access to services such as online patient registration, online consultations, and requests for repeat prescriptions.

All practices promote information about out of hours services. Some refer to the NHS 111 number, while some highlighted extended opening hours at the practice.

Healthwatch Hackney made individual recommendations to each practice and he report outlines the action Hackney GPs took in response to the review.

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General details

Report title 
Review of Hackney GP surgery websites
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Hackney
Date of publication 
Monday, 21 February, 2022
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 1 June, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Saturday, 31 July, 2021
Key themes 
Booking appointments
Complaints procedure
Digitalisation of services
Holistic support
Information providing
Service delivery organisation and staffing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
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 about conditions and diseases

What type of pregnancy or maternity themes are included in the report 

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
Not applicable
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
Not applicable
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
Not applicable
Does the information include staff's views? 
Not applicable
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? 
Yes action has been taken or promised
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
Is there evidence of impact external to the report? 
Not known
What type of impact was determined? 
Tangible impact (not cost related)

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.