Patients in Dacorum have been sharing their stories of problems accessing and using primary care services. 

Dacorum Health Action Group asked users of the nextdoor social network for their views of GPs and other primary care services in the area. The results were very concerning.

Among the main difficulties encountered by Dacorum people are:

  • It often takes weeks to get appointments, even for urgent and serious conditions
  • Booking systems are very difficult to navigate
  • Phone appointments sometimes don’t allow proper diagnosis
  • Online consultation platforms can’t replace face-to-face consultations with a real doctor
  • There are doubts about the effectiveness of the increasing numbers of practice staff who are not qualified doctors

The acute hospitals seem content to say to people who turn up at urgent care ‘make an appointment with your GP’. They don’t always realise how hard that can be.

We will be contacting the regional NHS supervisory body, the Integrated Care Board, asking what they can do to make the situation more bearable. It is clear that some practices are much better than others – they need to be able to spread their good practice to the ones in the slow lane.

A selection of the comments made on nextdoor is below:

Next Door Comments GPs