Attitudes towards digital primary care tools and standards in Greater Manchester highlighted in new insight report

In response to the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and social distancing requirements, there has been a rapid increase in the use of digital tools to support patient access to primary care for citizens across the UK.

In light of this, Health Innovation Manchester developed the GM Digital Primary Care Outcomes and Standards Framework earlier this year, ensuring the digital transformation of primary care services across Greater Manchester has consistent standards and outcomes.

Health Innovation Manchester has now published an insight report, detailing public attitudes to digital tools in primary care and testing the assumption of the GM Digital Primary Care Outcomes and Standards Framework.

Produced and co-designed with contributions from core members of the Health Innovation Manchester Public and Community Involvement and Engagement (PCIE) panel and the Greater Manchester PCIE forum, the report includes data collected from a cohort of workshops and activities with members of the public between June and July 2020 and a survey supported by NIHR Research for the Future.

The workshops and activities were supported by community champions from Made by Mortals and Awakening Minds. This was successful in engaging with 480 members of the public across Greater Manchester, with activities included an online survey, one-to-one telephone consultations and online discussion groups. Key themes from the feedback include, access to GP services with social distancing and virtually, how to access services and receiving personalised care, and empowerment and self-management.

Prof. Caroline Sanders, PCIE Lead for ARC-GM and Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC): “This report is a great example of Health Innovation Manchester working in partnership with our wider communities during the pandemic to enable learning direct from people’s experiences of getting access to primary care at a time of rapid service transformation. We are now sharing learning on what has worked well, but also to stimulate service improvement and development of support to address barriers for those with high healthcare needs who might otherwise struggle with digital technologies.”

Cath Barrow, Senior Programme Development Lead at Health Innovation Manchester said: “It’s vitally important that we gain insight into public attitudes and feedback in everything we do at Health Innovation Manchester. Engagement with our diverse communities is key, as is gaining feedback from groups that are in greater need of primary care and support.

“Overall, the report highlighted both positive experiences, negative experiences but more importantly areas for improvement that will ultimately allow us to improve the health and care of our citizens across the region. This is something that will become a running theme as part of our patient engagement work, raising key issues and improvements that will affect thousands of people across our Health Innovation Manchester footprint.”

The report highlights the importance of outcomes identified in the GM Digital Primary Care Outcomes and Standards Framework that has been developed with members of the PCIE forum and panel.

Health Innovation Manchester would like to thank all those who have contributed to this engagement programme.

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