As GP practices started to return to a new normal as the Covid-19 lockdown was eased, the chairs of some patient participation groups in Swindon decided to compare their GP practices. They and three other volunteers, made calls and/or visits to their own surgeries between 4 and 22 July 2020.
Data was collected from 12 different GP practices in Swindon out of a potential 24. Not all GP practices have active patient participation groups and not all have chairs. This was a snapshot survey to compare and contrast. Since the survey was completed further changes would have been made in individual surgeries.
- There is much appreciation and acknowledgement of the work of GP practice staff during the period. Communication with patients and with patient participation groups during Covid-19 between March and July 2020 has however, been extremely varied.
- Irrespective of Covid-19 and any further outbreak or lockdown, all GP practices should work with patients and their patient groups to improve communication.
- Primary Care Networks are well placed to work with their member practices to support or encourage consistency and accuracy – in communication, use of websites and social media for example. Some are beginning to do so. This should be developed.