GP practices are increasingly offering more online access to services, including the option to have an online consultation. Healthwatch Rochdale’s findings and recommendations aim to inform the commissioning of these services and ensure that patients’ preferences are considered.
Healthwatch Rochdale spoke with a sample of local residents to collect their views and opinions and provide an insight into their experience of using digital services provided by GP practices. Recommendations were made based on the identification of common themes and the potential barriers people may face.
- improve provision and accessibility to digital devices, data and reliable Wi-Fi.
- provide more support in doctors’ surgeries and the wider community for those who would like to register and try the online booking app
- the use of simple language supported by visual and audio means in the app and the ability to book translation and BSL services on the app when making online appointments.
- booking apps and registration process to be unified and simplified across GP practices and enable carers and parents to manage dependants where appropriate.
- online records access should offer the same level of service and have a uniformed approach to benefit the service user.
- information and advice to be consistent throughout each GP practice and their online presence in the Rochdale borough.
Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group (HMR CCG) responded to the recommendations outlined in the report and continue to work closely with Healthwatch Rochdale to ensure the voice of Rochdale borough residents has input into the digital agenda.