Summary of report contentHealthwatch Manchester created this report to provide a review of access to the 7-day GP service currently provided through all GP practices in Manchester. This was identified as a priority due to the high volume of comments and complaints received by the Healthwatch Manchester Office from local people regarding their difficulty in gaining a timely appointment with a GP. The service review was carried out using the ‘Mystery Shopper’ assessment model and was conducted by Healthwatch Manchester staff and volunteers over a period of 3 months between September and November 2017. They contacted all 87 GP practices in the area. Six recommendations were made: 1. There is an important and urgent need to ensure all Manchester GP practices fulfil their requirement to offer patients access to the 7-day GP service. 2. When new services such as this are introduced, timely and meaningful provision of support for GP practices is required in order for them to achieve their successful delivery. 3. Information regarding the 7-day GP service should be clearly displayed in practices as a reminder, prompt and awareness raiser for staff and patients. This information should also be available on GP practice websites and their telephone answering service. 4. Training for receptionists in telephone etiquette should be provided and regularly refreshed. All frontline staff should receive regular training, including updates on information provision. All staff should receive meaningful support and supervision in order to enable maintenance of service quality. 5. Further investigation is required into the wider issues identified by this initial telephone survey. These include service quality issues around callers’ experiences of issues such as politeness, clarity and accuracy of information. There appears to be a huge difference in the quality of service delivery between practices. Training and support provision for frontline staff also requires further investigation. 6. Healthwatch Manchester, as the independent consumer champion for health and social care, needs to either lead or be involved in the above.
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Week Spot? Review of Access to the 7 Day GP Service
Date of publication
Thursday, 7 December, 2017
Date evidence capture began
Thursday, 14 September, 2017
Date evidence capture finished
Friday, 17 November, 2017
Type of report
Communication between staff and patients
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number
Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation?
What type of organisation requested the work
Primary research method used
How was the information collected?
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced?
Primary care services
Out of hours
Number 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?
Types of health and care professionals engaged
Does the information include other people's views?
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views?
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?