Nikki shares this latest news on behalf of Isle of Wight Healthwatch. Ed
Healthwatch Isle of Wight ran a survey from November 2017 to April 2018, asking local people how easy it is for them to get an appointment at their GP surgery and what services they would like to be able to access at their local surgery in the future.
Over 2,000 people responded, but although many people praised individual doctors and practice staff, there was a significant difference in the availability of appointments at different surgeries.
Waiting for appointments
24% of people said that they have to wait over two weeks for an appointment and 28% of people have contacted 111 because they have been unable to get an appointment at their GP practice.
“There are almost never any appointments at all, let alone at convenient times.”
Types of appointments
Some GP surgeries only offer ‘on the day’ appointments and many people stated that they cannot ring first thing in the morning due to work, childcare or other commitments.
“It is important to me to be able to arrange appointments to coincide with a relative being in respite care. Certain departments pay scant regard to the difficulties faced by (unpaid) carers in making appointments.”
When people do manage to ring the surgery later on in the morning, frequently, all the appointments are gone.
The vast majority of people said that they would like to see blood testing clinics at their own surgery and there were many comments about the difficulties people face when getting a blood test:
“Blood Test in Ryde. Waited three hours.”
Ten recommendations within the report
A report on the results of the survey has been sent to the Isle of Wight Clinical Commissioning Group and they have been asked to respond to the ten recommendations included within the report.
These include the development of a local, mobile, phlebotomy service and the need for the IOW CCG to provide a benchmark of expectations in terms of appointment waiting times to reduce current inequality.
We are currently waiting for their response.
Individual reports will also be sent to all GP surgeries along with a summary of their anonymised feedback.
A copy of the report can be found on the Healthwatch Isle of Wight Website.