Healthwatch Somerset roadshow and survey starts 9 May
Healthwatch Somerset is investigating people’s experiences of using GP websites to get health and wellbeing information and support.
They want as many people as possible to share their feedback to help identify what works well, what doesn’t, and how things could be done differently to improve access to information on GP websites for everyone.
You can share your views by completing a survey which is available in print and online by visiting: healthwatchsomerset.co.uk/project/digital-access, or you can complete it over the phone by calling Healthwatch Somerset on Freephone 0800 999 1286. The survey closes on Sunday 22 May.
Healthwatch Somerset Roadshow
From Monday 9 May to Saturday 21 May, the Healthwatch Somerset roadshow will be visiting community venues across the county, to gather your feedback about GP websites and digital access, and to find out about the health and care issues that matter most to you. (See roadshow details below.)
You will also be able to find out about Somerset’s GP Community Pharmacy Consultation Service which is being rolled out across Somerset this year.
Somerset CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) will be joining Healthwatch Somerset to raise awareness of the new service which offers a same day consultation for over 40 minor injuries and illnesses with your local community pharmacist, via your local GP. The CCG will also be asking for your experiences of using the service to help shape the service going forward.
Mayor of Taunton, Sue Lees, will join Healthwatch Somerset Chair, Judith Goodchild, and staff and volunteers, to launch the roadshow in Fore Street, Taunton, at 12 noon, on Monday 9 May.
Dates and venues* for the Healthwatch Somerset roadshow are:
- Mon 9 May (11am-4pm) – Taunton, Fore Street
- Tues 10 May (11am-4pm) – Minehead, The Beach Hotel (outside)
- Weds 11 May (11am-4pm) – Bridgwater, Angel Place Shopping Centre
- Thurs 12 May (11am-4pm) – Burnham-On-Sea, The Esplande
- Fri 13 May (11am-4pm) – Wellington, Wellington Medical Centre (outside)
- Sat 14 May (9am-1pm) – Shepton Mallet, Dobbies Garden Centre (outside)
- Sun 15 May (9am-1pm) – Cheddar, Hillier Garden Centre (outside)
- Mon 16 May (11am-4pm) – Chard, Minor Injuries Hospital (outside)
- Tues 17 May (11am-4pm) – Yeovil, Asda (outside)
- Weds 18 May (11am-4pm) – Wincanton, Balsam Centre (outside)
- Thurs 19 May (9am-1pm) – Street, Street Market
- Fri 20 May (11am-4pm) – Frome, Boyle Cross, Market Place
- Sat 21 May (9am-1pm) – Somerton, Brunel Shopping Precinct
*Check Healthwatch Somerset social media channels for event updates if there’s bad weather.
Healthwatch Somerset has also held focus group discussions with communities which tend to be underrepresented, including care leavers and people with sight impairment.
Launching the project, Healthwatch Somerset Manager, Gill Keniston-Goble, said: “The use of digital technology is rapidly becoming the main way to find information about your health and wellbeing from your GP surgery, but not everyone can use digital methods and some people choose not to. We want to understand more about the impact of digitalisation – the benefits and the barriers this can create.
“The NHS England national GP patient survey 2021 shows that 58% of those who completed the survey in Somerset did not use GP online services to book appointments, order repeat prescriptions, access their medical records, or for consultations or appointments. 50% said they had not tried to use their GP’s website to look for information or to access to services.
“By going out and talking to people in communities across Somerset and gathering feedback via our survey and focus groups, we hope to hear from a diverse mix of people with varying health, care, communication and access needs. We will then identify where change is needed and make sure that NHS and care leaders listen to public feedback to improve access to care for everyone.”
Healthwatch Somerset Chair, Judith Goodchild, said: “Our roadshow is a wonderful opportunity to be able to engage with people and find out what they really feel about the health and social care services in Somerset. Your views are really important and will be used to help commissioners when developing future services.”