Residents are being asked to give their views on the services they receive at GP practices, as part of a review of provision across the city.
Councillors at Stoke-on-Trent City Council have set up a task and finish group to look at the equality of services.
The group will:
- explore access to GPs including the appointment booking process, waiting times, convenience of appointments, services offered at different GP practices, travelling distances and opening hours
- explore the recruitment and retention of GPs in Stoke-on-Trent
The group, which will report its findings to the council’s adults and neighbourhoods overview and scrutiny committee, wants to hear individual experiences about making GP appointments and accessing GP services.
Councillors would like to hear about the location of GP practices; the number of GPs at the practices; their opening hours; if and when the practice is open out office hours; if residents would like their practice to open early, late or at weekends; services that are available by GPs and other practitioners, how residents make their appointments and how long they had to wait, and if the appointment was at a convenient time.
Councillor Joan Bell, chair of the adults and neighbourhoods overview and scrutiny committee, said: “We are looking at this because the committee became aware of a difference in provision of GP services in the city, depending on where you live.
“Some people can get an appointment the next day, whereas others can wait up to 10 days.
“The review will look at what practices are providing, what services are universal and what can be done to improve provision.
“We’re also working with pharmacies and GP commissioners and would like anyone who uses a GP to come forward with their views.”
Once the review is completed, recommendations will be put before the scrutiny committee and then the council’s cabinet.
Councillor Ann James, cabinet member for health and social care, said that the council’s cabinet welcomes the review, and that it is in keeping with recommendations made by the Care Quality Commission after they reviewed the provision of local services in the city.
Residents who would like to share their experiences can contact scrutiny officer Ellen Washington: email@example.com, 01782 236039, Floor Four, Civic Centre, Glebe Street, Stoke, ST4 1HH.
Call the press office on 01782 232671.