Healthwatch’s research shows that tens of thousands of people struggled to contact or see their doctor during the first year of the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic has fundamentally shifted the way we use our GP practice. Instead of phoning for an appointment or walking-in to a surgery, access to care has rapidly moved to online bookings and video and phone consultations.
The move to remote appointments has allowed GP practices to keep services running for millions of people. As their previous research highlighted, remote consultations have made getting care quicker, more efficient and easier to fit around their lives for many people.
But, as the new report makes clear, many people are struggling to access care from their GP practice, leaving them feeling frustrated and confused. Certain groups also risk being left behind, such as older people, disabled people, people affected by homelessness and on low incomes, and those whose first language isn’t English.