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Your spotlight on local services

Access to GPs: Call for information: Tell us your views!


GP services are vital and usually the first point of contact for many when something isn’t quite right with one’s health, but when undertaking a survey 27% of local people have told Healthwatch that they struggled to access these services.

GPs are a universal service, which most of us have used at some point. They play a pivotal role in the community, through the provision of advice, referrals and free healthcare. Yet over the past year patients have increasingly contacted Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham about a number of issues. These have included:

  • Appointments that need to be booked two weeks in advance.
  • Short contact time with GPs
  • Gps asking patients to only discuss one issue per appointment

Other issues have also been raised: unanswered phones or delays in answering the phone has also become an increasing problem, leading people to become frustrated or seek alternative ways to book an appointment.

Interestingly, local people agree with GPs when it comes to ‘no shows’. Both are frustrated because of the time wasted in a stretched service. Not only are people having to wait their turn but ‘no-shows’ also cost the practice time and money when they could be attending to other people.

To understand the issues further, Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham are undertaking a project to understand the problems and barriers local people face and make recommendations for solutions.

Elspeth Paisley, Project Manager said “Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham provides a strong voice for all age groups in the community, GPs are an important service and so over the coming weeks we will be speaking both to local people AND local GPs to find solutions and support improved access. Everyone’s opinions and views matter, so do get involved”


Healthwatch are holding a  number of focus groups, and we invite anyone who accesses GP services in Barking and Dagenham to come and voice their views and bring their solutions:


Tuesday 6th November

10:30am - 11:30am

Hedgecock Community Centre (Women only)

28 Stephen Jewers Gardens Barking IG11 9FA


Thursday 8th November

6:00pm - 7:00pm

Hedgecock Community Centre (Open to all)

28 Stephen Jewers Gardens Barking IG11 9FA


Friday 9th November

10:30am - 11:30am

Dagenham Library (Open to all)

1 Church Elm Lane Dagenham RM10 9NR


Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham are here to represent YOU!  Give your views by taking part in the survey: Every person who completes a survey will be entered into a free prize draw!


Take part by completing the survey online https://www.surveymonkey.co.uk/r/BDGPsurvey

Find out more by visiting our website: http://www.healthwatchbarkinganddagenham.co.uk/

Call us: 0800 298 5331

Email us: info@healthwatchbarkinganddagenham.co.uk

Follow and tweet us: @HealthwatchBD

Follow and chat to us on Facebook: @Healthwatch.BD


Healthwatch Barking and Dagenham
Lifeline House
25 Neville Road
Dagenham, Essex RM8 3QS