Week Spot? Review of Access to the 7 Day GP Service

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Summary of report content

Healthwatch 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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General details

Report title 
Week Spot? Review of Access to the 7 Day GP Service
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Manchester
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 
Service evaluation
Key themes 
Access
Administration
Booking appointments
Communication between staff and patients
Information providing
Service delivery organisation and staffing
Staff training
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 
Rep-1881

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
No
What type of organisation requested the work 
N/A
Primary research method used 
Observation
How was the information collected? 
Research
If an Enter and View methodology was applied, was the visit announced or unannounced? 
N/A

Details of health and care services included in the report

Primary care services 
GP practice
Out of hours

Details of people who shared their views

Number of people who shared their views 
87
Age group 
Not known
Does the information include public's views? 
No
Does the information include carer's, friend's or relative's views? 
No
Does the information include staff's views? 
Yes
Types of health and care professionals engaged 
Receptionists
Does the information include other people's views? 
No
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 
Mixed

Outcomes and impact

Were recommendations made by local Healthwatch in the report? 
Yes
Does the information contain a response from a provider? 
No
Is there evidence of impact in the report? 
No
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.