Summary of an analysis of Islington GP practice websites, March 2021

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch Islington undertook an analysis of information on 32 Islington GP websites during March 2021 to understand information about online services.

Two in five websites had the standard NHS coronavirus pop up when first accessed.  Just over a quarter had their own customised pop up. The remaining websites did not have a pop-up on access but, in most, the home page has been customised to provide information about accessing their services and coronavirus. Five websites had little information about coronavirus, safety measures, COVID-19 vaccination, and the priorities for gaining access.

Hardly any of the websites had altered or updated their standard information (on opening hours, available services, and appointments, for example) to take account of the new circumstances arising from the pandemic. Patients not confident with accessing information from websites (or where English is not their first language) could be confused by information on the home page telling them not to attend in person, presented alongside sections providing information on opening hours, clinics, and services as though they can still be accessed face-to-face.

There were a small number of websites that had out of date information on them.  This could impact on patients’ confidence with the rest of the website.

Only about a third of websites had information about safety measures when visiting the practice or when out in the community. Hardly any had information for people who wanted to get help for their child or someone they were caring for.

Around half referred to the Covid-19 vaccination campaign, mainly not to contact the GP.  Only a few websites explained the importance of getting vaccinated or addressed concerns that patients might have.

All of the websites provided at least minimal information on how to contact the practice (usually with a short reference to NHS 111 and emergencies 999). The information about e-consult was usually from that provider website, but generally had fairly limited information on what to expect. If someone is not familiar with the internet or does not have English as a first or familiar language, it may be difficult for them to understand exactly what will happen, or what to expect from an online consultation.

Translation services for web content were not readily available on more than half the websites. Although all websites gave access to NHS information and many to the BBC Health News, there was little access to other helpful websites

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General details

Report title 
Summary of an analysis of Islington GP practice websites, March 2021
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Islington
Date of publication 
Wednesday, 30 June, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Monday, 1 March, 2021
Date evidence capture finished 
Wednesday, 31 March, 2021
Key themes 
Cleanliness hygiene and infection control
Digitalisation of services
Health inequalities
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 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? 
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.