The right to register

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Manchester undertook mystery shopping research into the experience of registering with a GP in Manchester. This issue had been identified as a priority due to the high volume of comments and complaints received by Healthwatch Manchester from local people regarding their difficulty in registering with a GP.  They rang over 80 GP practices during the period 13 to 18 December 2019.

Almost all practices were taking on new patients and 65% stated that they would require proof of identification to register.  When asked for further details, 70% said they would refuse to register new patients if they didn’t have acceptable photographic proof of ID such as a driving licence or passport.  This would exclude people without these documents.

The research found that there was no cause for concern regarding the clarity and quality of information provided by frontline GP staff nor with their politeness.

There were four recommendations in the report, including to start a dialogue between patients, providers and commissioners about the findings of this report and to undertake further research into the groups of people likely to be excluded. 


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General details

Report title 
The right to register
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Manchester
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 12 February, 2020
Date evidence capture began 
Friday, 13 December, 2019
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 18 December, 2019
Type of report 
Key themes 
Health inequalities
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
Primary research method used 
How was the information collected? 
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

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? 
Does the information include other people's views? 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Not known

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
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.