The ways in which patients access their GP services is changing. The Covid-19 pandemic has accelerated many of these changes but even prior to the pandemic many GPs were increasingly offering a wider range of ways to access their services.
Throughout Summer 2022 Healthwatch Derbyshire ran a survey to hear from patients, carers, and the wider public, offering an opportunity to share their views and recent experiences of accessing their GP. Feedback from the survey will help local health providers to understand how the ways in which appointments are accessed effects patients.
In response to the Covid-19 pandemic, GP surgeries offered alternatives to face-to-face appointments that included access to care moving to a triage system, online bookings, and video and phone consultations.
Face-to-face appointments are traditionally how many patients would access their GP, however this is not the only option available. For some patients and their individual health concerns, alternative appointments may be more suitable and even preferable for their lifestyle.
Part of our role is to understand the experience of people using these services and to give people the opportunity to speak up and have their voices heard. As services started to recovery from the pandemic, people were contacting us with their frustrations at not being able to access face to face appointments.
Over 1300 responses were received to the survey, so thank you to everyone who took the time to share with us their experiences.