When will i be seen GP appointments

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Summary of report content

Over the past 5 years, Healthwatch Lincolnshire has consistently received patient comments, relating to the difficulties they are experiencing getting an appointment to see a GP, resulting in us having over 1,000 comments in this area alone. Healthwatch Lincolnshire devised a series of questions, about patients’ experiences of booking an appointment, to answer the following objectives: To identify patients views and experiences of making appointments at GP surgeries; To explore patients views on the impact of any difficulties they experience, in making appointments at GP surgeries; To ascertain patients knowledge of the appointment system, at their GP surgeries We chose a 2 phase approach to this project. The first involved face to face engagement, in 12 GP surgeries across the county. The other was an online only survey, open to all Lincolnshire patients. Healthwatch Lincolnshire felt it was important to analysis the two sets of data separately due to the differences in the way they were gathered. Whilst the National GP survey and the Healthwatch Lincolnshire surveys all suggest that problems accessing appointments are not as widespread as thought, it is important to recognise there are some areas, where access to GP appointments is challenging e.g. East Lincolnshire (coastal). 1 in 4 patients told Healthwatch Lincolnshire having a delay in getting an appointment had an impact on them, with anxiety being the top reason. 1 in 3 patients told Healthwatch Lincolnshire they have used another service, when they could not get a GP appointment, with A&E being amongst the top place’s patients go to. Patients told Healthwatch Lincolnshire the telephone was the most popular way of contacting their surgery. However, from patient feedback to Healthwatch Lincolnshire, difficulty getting through on the telephone to the reception is the top cause of frustration. Throughout the survey, patients have placed an emphasis on receiving continuity of care and that may include seeing a named GP or other medical professional e.g. diabetic nurse. For patients who place particular importance on this, it could well have a negative and far reaching impact on patient experience, including such things as access to GP appointments. There is an appetite from patients to access services, such as text messaging and video conferences. Lessons learnt and best practice could be transferred from GP to GP service, across the county.

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General details

Report title 
When will i be seen GP appointments
Local Healthwatch 
Healthwatch Lincolnshire
Date of publication 
Sunday, 1 April, 2018
Date evidence capture began 
Sunday, 1 April, 2018
Date evidence capture finished 
Sunday, 1 April, 2018
Type of report 
Key themes 
Building and facilities
Communication between staff and patients
Waiting times and lists for treatment
Healthwatch reference number 

Methodology and approach

Was the work undertaken at the request of another organisation? 
What type of organisation requested the work 
Primary research method used 
Engagement event
How was the information collected? 
Visit to provider
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 
Age group 
Not known
Not known
Not known
Sexual orientation 
Not known
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? 

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? 
What type of impact was determined? 
Implied Impact

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.