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GP access

In December 2015, we published a report based on what 79 Southwark residents told us about GP access and experience. The people we spoke with were from diverse communities living in Southwark. They told us about difficulties in getting appointments, not knowing what health services are available, not always being offered an interpreter when needed, and not knowing how to make a complaint.

This is why we then went on to carry out a review of GP out-of-hours answerphone messages, a review of GP website information on complaints, and a 'mystery shop' of GPs to see if we were offered an interpreting service.

From October 2016 to February 2017 we spoke with 397 local people about what they thought HWS should focus on in 2017/18. (See the full report here.) The most common concern by some distance was the issue of getting timely access to GPs, which we therefore made one of our priority areas.

From May to August 2017 we used our power of Enter and View to visit all 44 GP practice sites in Southwark. We also received online survey responses from 39 Practice Managers, interviewed 50 receptionists, and talked to 550 patients about their experiences of GP appointment systems. You can find below the report on our findings - 'Appointment systems at Southwark GP practices - are they working?', our summary report, and the response from Southwark's Clinical Commissioning Group and GP federations.

We held a public event to discuss the findings on 5th December 2017 - a report on this will be published shortly.

See also 'Accident and Emergency services' section of this page to see Enter and View reports from King's Hospital and St Thomas' Hospital's A&E departments. We visited these services to learn why patients in minors/urgent care centre visit these services, over those available in the community. 


Appointment systems at Southwark GP practices: are they working? (2017)

'Appointment systems at Southwark GP practices: are they working?' - summary report (2017)

CCG and GP federations response to 'Appointment systems at Southwark GP practices: are they working?' (2017)

Healthwatch and CCG Joint Event on GP Access (2017)

Access and experience of GP services – findings from our community focus groups (Dec 2015)

Southwark CCG response to our 'access and experience of GP services' report

Do Southwark GPs offer people interpreting services? (Mar 2016)

Review of GP out-of-hours answerphone messages - what do they tell us? (Mar 2016)

One Year On - Review of out of hours answerphone messages (June 17)

Making a complaint: what online information do Southwark GP surgeries give to their patients? (Mar 2016)

One Year On - Making a complaint (June 17)

Summary of evidence submitted to Southwark Overview and Scrutiny Committee (Feb 2017)