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.