One patient told us he had rung his GP surgery more than 60 times one Monday morning and when he finally got through, was told there were no appointments for three days and no opportunity to see anyone in person for over a week, despite explaining he was in pain.
Healthwatch Bristol gathers patient feedback like this via our website forms, over the phone and on social media and, every three months, groups what you tell us into themes and areas such as mental health, dentistry etc.
This is so we can build up a picture of services and update providers such as the local clinical commissioning group (Bristol, North Somerset and South Glos) with important information, especially significant with the care changes that have had to be made due to Covid-19. We then talk about how to action concerns and comments at our Bristol Prioritisation Panel Meeting (the last one was held on February 3).
The latest quarter is for the period October to December where we received in total 68 pieces of feedback.
Of these 19 were about accessing a dentist (17 negative) 14 related to visiting your GP and nine about hospital care, the majority of these about long waiting times.
Out of all the feedback for this latest quarter 37 per cent were raising issues about service delivery and 32 per cent about communication or in some cases lack of it. More than 60 per cent of responses were negative and the rest positive, neutral and mixed.
One patient, at a Bristol GP surgery, phoned dozens of times to get an appointment but was told he couldn't have a face to face appointment for over a week, despite being in pain. He was told he could see a paramedic but he didn't feel this was satisfactory. He told Healthwatch Bristol this is an ongoing situation at the surgery and has requested previously to speak to the practice manager but he has not been given contact details to do this.
We have signposted him to Patient Advice and Liaison Services and the Independent Health Complaints Advocacy (formerly SEAP Bristol) if he wants to make a complaint about his surgery.