What makes a GP website patient friendly?

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Summary of report content

Three Healthwatch Bristol volunteers undertook a ‘snapshot’ audit of nine GP websites to see if patients could find the information they need quickly and easily. They identified a few examples of good practice including,

  • websites having options for translating their content into different languages using national flags so that non-English speakers could access it.
  • Practices including links to websites, leaflets, documents in pdf formats that could be printed out about different conditions and health topics.
  • Also, links to how to contact other support agencies across a range of issues that impact healthcare, links to local Patient Participation Groups, and details of changes to how they are supporting patients during the pandemic.

However, their volunteers also noted gaps in information providing, in accessibility standards, how patients can feedback and make complaints and how they can book an interpreter.

Based on their findings, Healthwatch Bristol have produced a tool for GP surgeries that they can use to audit their own website, identify issues and make improvements.

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General details

Report title 
What makes a GP website patient friendly?
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Bristol
Date of publication 
Friday, 6 August, 2021
Date evidence capture began 
Tuesday, 1 December, 2020
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 28 February, 2021
Key themes 
Complaints procedure
Information providing

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
If this work has been done in partnership, who is the partner? 
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

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 
What was the main sentiment of the people who shared their views? 

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? 

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.