Experiences of accessing a GP appointment in Northamptonshire

Healthwatch North and West Northamptonshire (HWNW) work to help local people get the best out of their local health and care services.

We are aware that the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on everyone was substantial. However, for healthcare providers, this impact was twofold; not only were they concerned about their own health and wellbeing, but they were also having to go above and beyond to provide physical and emotional support for their patients. We were told that appointments for many were difficult to obtain, or not accessible, leading to an increase in hospital admissions with fewer health professionals available to manage the demand. As we edge out of the pandemic, we would now like to hear people’s experiences to advocate and enhance the public’s voice in health and social care, as well as support primary care services ongoing improvements.

We would be grateful to hear about what works and what could be better.

The survey is for anyone who lives in Northamptonshire, is aged 16 or over, and would like to share their views about experiences they have had accessing GP services.

Sheila White, Healthwatch Advisory Board Member and GP project lead, said this: “Since the start of the Covid-19 Pandemic, and to some extent even before that, Healthwatch have heard about the difficulties some patients have faced trying to get an appointment with their GP. This relates mainly to the frustration felt when people are unable to get through to their surgery by telephone to make an appointment. Some people have also told us that when the phone was answered there were no appointments left for that day and they had to start the process again the next morning. We have also heard that it is also difficult to make a face-to-face appointment with a GP rather than a telephone consultation. Healthwatch would like to know more about people’s experiences, good or bad, so that we can work with the providers to inform improvement for both patients and the GPs. Our questionnaire asks what we feel are the relevant questions but also leaves space for comments to give us a clearer picture of what is happening.”

To take the survey, please follow this link: https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/HWNWGPAccess

  • For more information, or for a physical copy of the survey please call Healthwatch North and West Northamptonshire on 0300 002 0010 or email enquiries@healthwatchnorthamptonshire.co.uk
  • If you would like to return the survey via post, our address is: Moulton Park Business Centre, Redhouse Road, NN3 6AQ