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​Hearing what's important to patients around primary care

In February 2016, we asked patients what they thought about the priorities set out in our strategy for primary care (here).​

We received 1,294 responses during the eight-week survey, making it the most successful we have run to date in terms of volume and depth of opinion.

We felt it was important to look at primary care because the demands on it are increasing year on year. Each year across South Devon and Torbay, the public make 1.7 million appointments to see a GP, so we wanted to use responses to the survey to clarify whether our strategy is realistic, as well as getting a better understanding of what we should focus on when putting it into practice.

The survey asked a wide range of questions  how easy it is to see a GP, how many days a week a practice should be open, how medicines wastage can be avoided, who should have access to a patient’s medical record  and was broken into six sections to match the six themes laid out in our primary care strategy.

The results and responses we received from the public on these six themes are below:

  • Encouraging people to take control of their own health  whether people should buy their own low-cost medicines and self-care.
  • Improving patients' use of medicines – including how people manage repeat prescriptions and if they are aware of the services a pharmacist can offer.
  • Quality of locally provided general practice – including how long people are prepared to wait for an appointment, whom they want to see, how they want to make appointments, what kind of appointments they have, access to medical records and technology to monitor health, processes of prescriptions and test results, customer care and Patient Participation Groups (PPGs).
  • Different ways of providing primary care – including how surgeries should work together, whether you might go to a different surgery for some services, and access to records and information sharing.
  • Matching local delivery to local need – how GP surgeries work together to provide services for people who need planned appointments and who need more urgent on-the-day appointments.
  • 6 or 7-day access to GPs – understanding what is important to people in terms of how many days their GP surgery is open and what times surgeries  should  be open.​

Additional comments on:

Click here for a report by Healthwatch Devon on feedback they received about Primary Care Services during the year 2015.