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15.12.17

Cornwall health watchdog launches survey over GP access concerns

Healthwatch Cornwall has launched a survey after patients brought up concerns around difficulty accessing doctors.

The watchdog said that surgery closures and increases in local population due to more housing have limited people’s access to GPs.

The survey aims to find out more about the reasons behind these difficulties by questioning local people, even those not registered at a surgery.

Andrew Abbott, director of primary care and West Localities at NHS Kernow, commented: “Listening to the experiences people have when trying to see a doctor is a vital part of our future planning; we want to provide the best options we can.

“By supporting Healthwatch Cornwall and encouraging everyone to have their say via the survey, we can incorporate public opinion more easily within our future commissioning.”

Natalie Swann, research manager at Healthwatch Cornwall, added: “We want to build a fuller picture of how this issue is impacting on patients so that people’s experiences can be taken into account in the planning of new or alternative options.

“We are aware that, for various reasons, there is a shortage of general practice doctors (GPs) nationally and locally. This means services may need to be provided in other ways to ensure they meet people’s needs and offer the best possible patient experience, within the allocated budget.

“We have worked in conjunction with local health services commissioner NHS Kernow to devise this survey so that they can be fully informed and make best use of the learning from it.”

The survey is available here and has a deadline of 19 January 2018.

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