Local democracy during coronavirus

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Agenda item

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

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

 

Minutes:

Board members considered a report from Healthwatch York which looked at what people told them about GP services during the pandemic. The Chair, Healthwatch York presented the report and responded to questions.

 

Key points raised during the presentation of the report included:

·        Healthwatch York received a large number of calls from residents around GP services, since they were often the first health service port of call for residents.

·        Healthwatch York had emphasised to residents that GPs had been delivering more care than ever before, especially with regard to vaccination programmes, and that GPs also could get ill or have family problems like anyone else.

·        Healthwatch York also heard from key partner organisations: those working with unpaid carers or those experiencing mental ill health and disabled people to understand the key challenges they face. A feeling of digital exclusion was widely reported across many areas of health and social care, as well as reports of organisations feeling an added strain due to increased need for advocating on behalf of residents.

·        The recommendations of the report are focused on communication and information – Healthwatch York asked several individuals and organisations to review the report presented, including Nimbus Care and NHS Vale of York CCG, whose comments are included.

 

Comments from board members included:

·        The current stress on the health system was immense, and demand was outstripping capacity, which was worrying to GPs and primary care, especially in difficulties in working on prevention due to a lack of capacity. Long term, the Marmot Principles should be emphasised to ensure that people have the best start in life in order to prevent health conditions later, however the short term focus had to be getting through oncoming winter and Covid-19 pandemic.

·        There was a large amount of public anger towards GPs and primary care, however it was a limited resource and so it was important to ensure it is being used in the most efficient way possible, with the Choose Well Campaign and Continuity of Care Group were emphasised.

·        Increased digitisation of general practice had enabled a greater capacity than ever before, suited working age adults very well and increased response times. A single digital system was used by all GPs in York.

·        However, it was important not to leave behind those who struggle with digital set-ups and those who need more support such as the elderly.

·        There were good recruitment levels in general practice in York, unlike other areas of Yorkshire and the Humber, however large numbers of reception staff were considering leaving in light of the public anger towards primary care.

·        Primary care was not going to return to pre-Covid conditions, but Healthwatch York was helping to alleviate the risk of poorer access to services creating inequalities.

·        It was suggested that Healthwatch York facilitate a co-production approach for GPs to meet with a representation of individuals who cannot access digital services, in order to prevent the marginalisation of already vulnerable people.

 

Resolved:

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

ii.            That organisations represented at the Health and Wellbeing Board 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.

 

Supporting documents:

 

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