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  • Scotland sets out policy on improving workforce planning for primary care

    Scotland sets out policy on improving workforce planning for primary care

    Wednesday, 09 May 2018 16:12
  • DHSC to address concerns of prescription direction to distance selling pharmacies

    DHSC to address concerns of prescription direction to distance selling pharmacies

    Thursday, 19 April 2018 16:51
  • Study gives pointers on why patients are reluctant to disclose sexual orientation

    Study gives pointers on why patients are reluctant to disclose sexual orientation

    Thursday, 01 February 2018 11:35

primary care access1 1March 23 2015

Accessibility to premises has been named as one of the top ten issues cited by disabled people regarding primary care.

The problem is not just about physical access into the building, but also about inflexible on-the-day booking systems which make it difficult to book carer support for appointments. Equipment such as induction loop systems for people with hearing difficulties is not installed either, in many premises.

The claims have been made by the Healthwatch England, a national consumer group for health and care. It contacted 55 of its local groups to compile a report “which uses patients’ real life experiences to highlight areas where people want to see improvement.” As a result, the Healthwatch network has spoken to 11,000 people and visited over 550 GP surgeries and other primary care premises.

Announcing its findings, Healthwatch commented: “Official figures show 85% of people are satisfied with the services they receive. Yet, as our previous research has shown, satisfaction rates only tell part of the story.”

Issues that still need resolving also include:

•    changes to translation services funding are impacting on deaf people
•    people’s choices about seeing the GP of their choice, as set out in the NHS Constitution, are often not being met
•    staff attitudes, particularly GP receptionists, is a frequent issue, with patients reporting that they found them to be” nosy, abrupt and often rude”
•    appointment slots are too short for six out of ten patients
•    the procedure for making a complaint is “utterly bewildering for people to navigate” and there is a lack of information offered by healthcare providers.

Healthwatch Chair, Anna Bradley, said: “Wherever physically possible, we want to see every GP and dentist surgery equipped with appropriate disabled access and provide hearing loops and translation service for those who are hearing impaired.

“We also want services to make it seamless and simple for disabled patients to communicate with them about booking appointments, arranging follow-up treatment and taking their medication.

“These are basic requirements that all GP and dental practices are required to deliver, so a good quality service is available for all.”

Links:

Healthwatch England announcement    

Summary of views

Healthwatch England report    

Healthwatch England document ‘Local Healthwatch Investigate: Access to Primary Care’    

NHS England GP patient surver  

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