Access to GP Appointment Systems in County Durham

Our report looks into the experience of patients in County Durham booking a GP appointment.

We wanted to find out how patients found the experiences of making appointments to see their GP where there were triage or care navigation systems in place. We wanted to see what worked well, identifying any pockets of good practice and also to see if there were some things that could be better. We carried out a series of different engagement methods to gather views and experience of patients and staff:

  • Carrying our Enter & View in 8 surgeries across the county
  • Creating a survey which was used on line and in focus groups
  • Talking to a small group of people with a Learning Disability
  •  Talking to a small group of people with a visual impairment


From the information provided in our survey and conversations with patients we have made the following observations for GP practices to consider:

  • Can your patients speak in confidence, without being overheard both in the reception area and on the telephone?
  • Is your reception area welcoming and accessible?
  • Does the reception have the right balance of offering confidentiality, being a safe working area and minimising the barriers for patients to communicate with reception staff?
  • Are your opening hours are meeting patient needs?
  • Are the telephone systems fit for purpose, do they provide patients with information whilst they are on hold or in a queue?
  • Are patients given appropriate information and advice to understand what Care Navigation is and how it might help them access the right services?
  • Does your practice currently offer Triage? If not, is it something you might consider given the positive response from patients who had accessed the service?
  • Has your practice reviewed its website recently? Is it up to date and easy to navigate through? Do you provide information on how patients can make a compliment/comment/complaint?


If you need this information in a different format please contact us:

0800 304 7039

Download Report

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