Health and Wellbeing Board

17 November 2021

Report of the Manager, Healthwatch York


Healthwatch York Report: What people are telling us: Experiences of York GP Services. A snapshot report


1.           This report is for information, sharing a report from Healthwatch York which looks at what people told us about GP services during the pandemic.


2.           Healthwatch York provides information and advice about health and care services, signposts people to support, and listens to their experiences when accessing health and care services. In carrying out this work during the pandemic, a significant proportion of the feedback received has related to GP services, and accessing GP appointments.

3.           We also reached out to partner organisations York Carers Centre, York Mind and Community Voices York, who had all flagged up challenges they were experiencing around supporting people to access GP services.

4.           We appreciate this has been a very difficult time for everyone working in health and social care. We aimed to produce a report that highlighted the pressures on both GPs and patients, and have shared this report to encourage further discussion of these challenges and consideration of ways we can collectively address them.

Main/Key Issues to be considered

5.           Our report highlights that digitalisation has enabled GPs to provide more appointments than they would if face to face remained the ‘default’ option. It is also clear that for some, access has improved. However, some people fear they are being left behind by the digitalisation of GP services, and these concerns are also being raised by organisations who work with those at risk of exclusion.

6.           There are a number of recommendations within this report and these are as follows:

·        Make patients more aware of options for call backs during evenings and weekends through Improving Access clinics - and work      together to promote the Top Tips from “The Doctor Will Zoom You Now”.

·        Provide clearer information regarding the provision of interpreter services.

·        Review provision of interpreter services through contract monitoring

·        Develop better information for patients exploring options in accessing healthcare, including details of AHP roles in Primary Care and the benefits of accessing these.

·        Urgently review access to online services for parents –consider building in automatic transfer options at, for example, age 14 linked with a compulsory PSHE lesson in schools around digital health literacy, and with clear mechanism for enabling retention of this for those children who lack capacity to manage their own health appointments.

·        Work together with those facing greatest difficulty in getting GP appointments to understand what could work better for them.

·        Consider how we can contribute to the regional and national conversation around creating more GPs and other primary care health professionals.

7.           All partners have identified the need to understand the barriers to accessing care and removing them as essential to the transformation of local health and care through the work of the ICS at place.



8.           In producing this report, we did not go out to public consultation, but used the experiences people had already shared with us, alongside experiences shared with partners.


9.           There are no specific options for the HWBB to consider however individual organisations are asked to note the recommendations in the Healthwatch York report and respond these within 28 days.



10.        There are no specialist implications from this report.

·           Financial

There are no financial implications in this report.

·           Human Resources (HR)

There are no HR implications in this report.

·           Equalities  

There are no equalities implications in this report.

·           Legal

There are no legal implications in this report.

·           Crime and Disorder

There are no crime and disorder implications in this report.

·           Information Technology (IT)

There are no IT implications in this report.

·           Property

There are no property implications in this report.

·           Other

There are no other implications in this report.

        Risk Management

11.        There are no risks associated with this report.


12.        The Health and Wellbeing Board are asked to:

            i.                      Receive Healthwatch York’s report, What people are telling us: Experiences of York GP Services. A snapshot report.

           ii.                      Respond directly to Healthwatch York within 28 days regarding the recommendations made to their organisation.

 Reason: To keep up to date with the work of Healthwatch York

Contact Details


Chief Officer Responsible for the report:

Siân Balsom


Healthwatch York

01904 621133




Report Approved










Wards Affected:  All






For further information please contact the author of the report


Background Papers:



Annex A – What people are telling us: Experiences of York GP Services. A snapshot report

Healthwatch-York-GP-Snapshot-Report-V2.pdf (