GP ap­point­ments are still a ‘huge chal­lenge’

Cynon Valley - - YOUR NEWS -

AR­RANG­ING and ac­cess­ing GP ap­point­ments re­mains a “huge chal­lenge” for pa­tients at a time of in­creased de­mand, in­spec­tors have con­cluded.

Health­care In­spec­torate Wales (HIW) vis­ited 27 GP surg­eries in 2016-17 and spoke to pa­tients across the coun­try to an­a­lyse the standard and qual­ity of care.

One of their main con­cerns was the avail­abil­ity of timely ap­point­ments for pa­tients. In a bid to en­sure ap­point­ments were be­ing al­lo­cated ap­pro­pri­ately, in­spec­tors said many prac­tices op­er­ated a triage or sign­post­ing sys­tem to other suit­able NHS ser­vices.

But pa­tients said they were “mostly not happy” with this and ques­tioned whether triage start­ing at the point of re­cep­tion­ist staff was clin­i­cally ap­pro­pri­ate.

Pa­tients said they val­ued the care they re­ceived from their GP prac­tice.

Prac­tices were found to have sys­tems in place to try and en­sure con­ti­nu­ity of care when pa­tients were be­ing seen by dif­fer­ent mem­bers of staff.

“We con­sis­tently saw that prac­tice staff treated pa­tients in a po­lite, car­ing and friendly man­ner,” the re­port states.

But in­spec­tors said they were “dis­ap­pointed” that many con­cerns raised in 2015-16 were repli­cated in this year’s re­port.

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