HEALTHCARE Shropshire, the local independent consumer champion for health and social care, would like to know about people’s experiences of using their GP services, how easy is it to access their GP or practice nurse?

The NHS recommends that people with fevers, stomach upset, aches and pains or headaches contact the local pharmacist instead of their GP.

If people can’t easily get an appointment with their GP and use other services such as their local pharmacy Healthwatch would like to hear about that experience as well.

The latest GP Patient Survey showed that there was a wide range of patient satisfaction rates for availability of appointments at GP practices. Across the county, it varies from 34 per cent satisfied to 95 per cent satisfied.

Healthwatch would like to hear about the reality behind the statistics.

“We often find that the detail patients give us about their experiences is invaluable in helping to make things better,” said Lynn Cawley, chief officer.

“We are independent, we record experiences anonymously and then can feed them back to service providers and those who coordinate services.”

“We carried out some research in 2015 that showed patients lacked an understanding of how GP appointment systems worked, and we are still hearing that message.

“Now practices are offering ‘extended hours’ appointments, where patients can book to see a GP until 8pm on weekdays and over the weekend and can book appointments online. We would like to know how the patient experience has been affected.”

In some cases people have telephone appointments with the doctor and another suggestion for the future has been the use of technology like Skype.

Healthwatch Shropshire can be contacted on 01743 237884 or

It is the independent consumer champion for health and social care in Shropshire.