GP appointments

Improving the experience of making a GP appointment

What Healthwatch Surrey has done

We have gathered the views and experiences of over 1,000 local people about their experience of booking an appointment.

With this evidence we published a report: Getting an appointment with your GP.

Publishing and sharing this report has brought the issue to the attention of decision makers and other influential people.

What’s happened since

The decision makers provided a response to the issues raised.

They also made commitments to improvement initiatives:

  • GPs are enhancing their booking processes
  • A system-wide task group has been established by NHS England
  • NHS England support the development of a minimum standard

In the process we have been able to share important information and initiatives between different decision makers and other influential people.

My GP journey

We have spoken to a number of people from groups who are seldom heard, including people living with aphasia, people with visual impairment, and the deaf community to find out more about experiences of getting access to GP services and how this could be improved.

We used this evidence to publish a report: My GP journey’. Alternatively, you can watch a video to see what we found out:


From this report we have requested responses from decision makers and GP practices in Surrey, and have produced an Impact Report.

What next?

We will:

  • Establish the extent to which the public feels that their voice has been listened to and acted upon.
  • Observe how commitments are followed through and work to ensure that these address the issues you have raised with us.
  • Look into how we can help groups who experience communication barriers to access GP services more easily.
  • As part of the Good Things Foundation charity’s ‘Get Online’ week, 2nd-8th October 2017, we will be conducting a targeted project to increase awareness of online appointment booking, online repeat prescriptions and online health records, and understand the potential barriers to using these online services. We aim to speak to people in a number of GP practices across Surrey about their views and experiences of online GP services. We will also be asking for feedback using a short online survey.