Reasonable Adjustments in GP Practices - Your Views

Healthwatch South Tees has made it a priority to collaborate with primary care and general practice (GP’s), to reduce barriers to access GPs for those requiring reasonable adjustments.
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There is no doubt the past few years have been challenging, and those providing health and care services have needed to adapt to continue safe delivery.

The telephone and video conferencing triage measures adopted by GP’s, provide a safe and effective access point for many patients.

“I’ve had absolutely no problems with my GP throughout the pandemic when my wife was poorly, or now.” 

During the pandemic, we also heard from people who were finding it difficult to access their GP. We reported this in  Experiences of GP Access, Ongoing Treatments and Wellbeing Throughout the Pandemic. We recognise the responses during this time will have reflected the context in which we all found ourselves, especially the daily changes required by GPs in order to continue to deliver their service.

As we move into recovery stages, we continue to monitor access to primary care.

Mostly, we hear from people whose experience has not been good. These tend to be people with additional challenges such as those with language barriers, mental health conditions, other multiple long term health conditions, disability, sensory loss, frailty, and carers.

These groups are often referred to as those experiencing health inequalities and GP access is sometimes described as the ‘gate-keeper’ to wider health provision.

“I was made to feel like a time waster and a hypochondriac.  I was desperate to find out what was going on and that took a lot of determination."

"When you are so poorly, you have less fight at a time when you really need to keep going! My physical, emotional and mental health suffered because I wasn’t believed!” 

We have begun to capture individual stories in case studies that will support a better understanding and awareness of patient needs, from getting an appointment to making the most of it.

Our case studies will reflect the diversity across our local communities. There is no doubt this work will highlight the complexity of meeting individual needs.

Within the NHS there is a focus to address health inequalities and engaging with people is at the heart of this. New Integrated Care Systems (ICSs) will develop closer partnerships across communities, supporting and improve population heath.

The NHS 2022/23 Priorities report, (priority E), refers to improved access to primary care as part of addressing wider health inequalities. GP Federations will have a key part to play as this evolves.

We believe it is the right time to raise the issues people have told us about GP access and are passionate about supporting this where we can.

We also believe in understanding all perspectives, supporting, and negotiating potential solutions. We are working hard to bridge gaps, build relationships and link potential partners together.

Want to help? Get in touch if you can tell us about adjustments your GP practice has made to help you. 

Case studies will be anonymous and could make a difference to others like you.

 healthwatchsouthtees@pcp.uk.net    

 0800 118 1691   

Text only: 07451 288 789

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