NHS North West London Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is seeking public views on online GP consultation services.

The CCG is working alongside local Healthwatches to find out from residents in North West London about how they feel about online GP services. The aim is to gain a better understanding of how patients view the service – what works about it, what doesn’t work and what could be improved on.

Online GP services enable anyone registered with a GP practice to access healthcare help via the internet. The service can be used for non-urgent medical advice; making an appointment with a healthcare professional; accessing support for a long-term condition; or administrative help such as requesting a sick note.

The use of online services was accelerated in response to the Covid pandemic, where many GP surgeries switched to remote appointments. As normal services start to resume, many surgeries continue to offer online services, alongside the traditional face-to-face options.

A poll from ORCHA found a clear appetite for digital health tools, as people look to take more control of their health. Despite this, there does need to be an awareness of how digital health services may impact on inequalities.

NHS North West London Clinical Commissioning Group hopes to use the results of its survey to help improve what they offer and ensure its online services remain beneficial to everyone who uses them.

Professor Ian Goodman, clinical lead for primary care digital strategy, North West London CCG, said: “The pandemic shined a light on the importance of the NHS keeping up with the times and providing a service that is high quality both on and offline.

“It is our sole aim to always deliver care that is beneficial to our patients and the public. We’re really looking forward to having Healthwatch on-board with this important work and sharing their expertise on listening to the public through research and engagement.”

Anyone registered at a GP surgery within Brent, Ealing, Hammersmith and Fulham, Harrow, Hillingdon, Hounslow, Kensington and Chelsea or Westminster is able to complete an online survey to share their views and help shape online services for the better. The survey closes 5 January 2022.