Healthwatch Shropshire (HWS) has received many comments regarding the availability of GP appointments in the last year. The public seem generally unaware of extended access appointments (appointments available outside normal surgery opening hours) being available. HWS are gathering further information about access to GP appointments through a hot topic. A hot topic is targeted activity looking at one particular aspect of health and social care and inviting views from the public.
We decided to visit GP surgeries across Shropshire to discuss appointments and see how they are offering extended access appointments, if they are advertising them in the surgery and if they are making patients aware of them when they ask. We visited GP practices representing a range of list sizes and in different areas of Shropshire.
- We did not see any information about Extended Access Appointments on the noticeboards in the waiting area.
- Only one patient we spoke to was aware of Extended Access Appointments.
- One patient said an Extended access Appointment would have been useful if it had been offered.
- All the staff told us they were able to offer patients the appointments they needed.
- All the patients told us it is difficult to get a same day appointment.
- The practice does not routinely offer or promote evening or weekend appointments.
- Six months ago the Practice introduced out of hours GP telephone calls.
- The PPG is not actively involved in promoting new ways of working.
- The Practice Manager told us that the surgery does not regularly use Locum GPs.
- Patients told us they usually see a different doctor, usually a Locum.
- The Manager told us staff had received signposting training some time ago but signposting is not regularly used.
More Information about the Enter & View scheme can be found here.
Please note the findings of this report reflect what we found on the day of our visit and services may change over time. More information about this service can be found on the Care Quality Commission website and the practice website.