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GP Project report 2016
Since we were formed in 2013, General Practice has been a key priority area for Healthwatch Richmond. Over this time we've spoken to hundreds of patients and professionals about their experiences of general practice through:
- Holding a Public Forum on general practice at the beginning of 2014 bringing 98 patients and professionals together to identify what makes good care
- 25 visits to almost half of Richmond's GP practices
- 80 outreach sessions to groups and organisations sessions reaching over 1000 people
- 100 calls and emails from patients regarding general practice
What we found
The picture of clinical care from patients we have spoken to is very positive. Most of the comments received have praised the caring nature of staff and the quality of the care that they receive.
Not all comments about care are positive however. Getting appointments was the most common concern for patients at around half of the practices that we visited. Around 1 in 4 people who can't get a GP appointment when they want will to A&E or Walk in Centres. Where booking appointments works well practices have automated telephone and online booking systems and advertise these and other services such as telephone appointments effectively to their patients.
In a small number of practices patients had good access to information such as support groups in the community, advice for staying active and healthy and practical information like accessing healthcare when the GP was closed or translation services. We felt that this was an area where a lot of practices could improve and we'd be really pleased to help them do this.
In some places people didn't have the privacy they deserved when at reception and in one case could be overheard during consultation with the GP. Often the layout of the building limited privacy but some practices had taken really practical steps to improve this.
Patient groups were active and making a difference to care in many of the practices that we visited. Most wanted more support to engage with and get other patients involved.
We produced an Overall Report in addition to producing individaul reports for each enter and view visit.
Read the reports from our individual visits below or find out what we've learned overall: