Health and Wellbeing board discuss GP access

The Telford and Wrekin Health and Wellbeing Board met to discuss GP access and what can be done to improve the patient experience on 30 September.

Health and Wellbeing board discuss GP access

The board is a partnership between Telford & Wrekin Council, the local NHS and voluntary groups.

They meet to work together on health and social care issues, tackle health inequality, and improving public health.

Local GP networks are currently under tremendous pressure due to Covid-19.

The Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group say that almost six in 10 patients are seen face-to-face.

However, access to GP's varies across the borough, with some areas fairing worse than others.

The Shropshire, Telford and Wrekin Clinical Commissioning Group recognised the challenge and committed to improving the patient experience.

Improvements are to be made on phone systems and undertaking mystery shopper approaches to test out processes.

Data will be gathered and 'triangulated' to offer targeted support to practices where patients are experiencing greater access difficulties.

Cllr Kelly Middleton, Chair of the Health and Wellbeing Board, said: 

"We are thankful for the NHS and all the work that has been done during the pandemic and are here to support them.

"The issue of GP access is one our residents feel very passionate about.

"It's been difficult to hear the stories of people being unable to get in contact with their GP surgery and then ending up severely ill.

"It's crucial for us to challenge and support our local NHS to improve local services for residents.

"I am glad of the commitments we have received from the NHS - we will be monitoring the progress the NHS has made and look forward to receiving a report on improvements made in six months."

Andy Burford, Cabinet Member for Health and Social Care, said: 

"It has been a difficult time for everyone in the NHS, and we are here to support them to provide a service to residents.

"The national issues in GP access is being replicated at a local level here in Telford and Wrekin, but it is good to see our local NHS colleagues will do all they can to improving access."

Residents can raise any issues about GP access through the local NHS’s Complaints, Patient Advice and Liaison Service