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Local health and care watchdog helps more patients to ‘Get Online’

Healthwatch Surrey is teaming up with eight GP practices across the county to help raise awareness of online GP services as part of a national campaign to help more people make the most of the internet.

A recent report by the watchdog highlighted low awareness of online GP services such as appointment booking, repeat prescriptions and patient access to parts of their GP record.
During Get Online Week (2nd-8th October), volunteers from the local health and care watchdog will be visiting eight GP surgeries to raise awareness of online GP services and gather views on how the current system is working.

Lisa Sian, Operations Manager at Healthwatch Surrey said: “When we asked people about online GP services, many said they didn’t know about them or hadn’t used them, but the people that did use them said that they worked well.”

Woking resident Helen Trotter explained how online GP services have helped her manage her overall health: “As a type 2 diabetic, I have regular blood tests, so being able to look at my results online helps monitor my sugar levels and spot any problems early…I would encourage everyone to use it!”

Ms Sian added: “We hope that raising awareness of online GP services will help people to have more flexible access to appointments, prescriptions and test results, particularly for those who may find it difficult to communicate over the phone or in a busy surgery.

“Even if you haven’t used online GP services, we want to hear from you. This will help us and local decision makers understand what more could be done to make it easier to use these services in the future.”

People will also be able to share their views about online GP services via a survey available on the Healthwatch Surrey website: https://www.healthwatchsurrey.co.uk/get-online-week/

This work follows a recent Healthwatch Surrey report documenting the views and experiences of 120 individuals from seldom heard and vulnerable communities which highlighted a lack of suitable and timely support for people with communication needs.

A copy of the report ‘My GP journey’, together with a summary of the responses received from GP Practices, NHS England and local commissioners is available to download from the Healthwatch Surrey website.

Anyone who has a comment or experience about GP practices, social care or other NHS service can contact Healthwatch Surrey on 0303 303 0023 or email enquiries@healthwatchsurrey.co.uk