Healthwatch Sandwell has published a report on The patient experience of accessing primary care services.
The report highlights challenges and impacts for patients in accessing G.P. practice appointments and looks at awareness and uptake of other primary care service options. The report makes 11 recommendations to enhance and ensure access to appointments for all patients.
The reports are available via the Healthwatch Sandwell website links:
The report was informed by the experiences, voices, and views of Sandwell residents and complemented by service insights from some Sandwell G.P. practices and the Sandwell Urgent Treatment Centre who kindly helped support the project.
The headline main findings and recommendations are in the Executive Summary report. The Supplementary Information report provides more detail including on patient experiences, voices, and views.
The reports highlight that many patients are failing to obtain access to a G.P. practice appointment and, though awareness of the alternative primary care options is reasonably high, uptake is significantly lower. Some patients are failing to access primary care services to be seen for their health conditions, including those faced with challenges to accessing appointment booking systems such as “digital poverty”, language and accessibility barriers. Case stories of impacts on patients’ health and wellbeing from failure to access primary care services are included.
Healthwatch Sandwell have made 11 recommendations within the report, to enhance and ensure access to appointments for all patients, they align with NHS General practice contract arrangements (October 2022). The recommendations also call for improvements to information available to Sandwell residents on the full range of primary care options and involvement of patient voice within service developments.
For any further information please contact:
Sophie Shuttlewood – Projects and Partnerships Lead
Healthwatch Sandwell, Walker Grange, Central Avenue, Tipton, DY4 9RY
Mobile: 07732 683483 Email: Sophie.Shuttlewood@healthwatchsandwell.co.uk