Skip to main content

Health Services

Question for Department of Health and Social Care

UIN 75119, tabled on 15 November 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, what steps his Department is taking to help ensure that (a) elderly people are able to access the GP care they need and (b) people without technology are able to access NHS resources through other means.

Answered on

23 November 2021

NHS England and NHS Improvement’s guidance is clear that online tools must always be provided in addition to, rather than as a replacement for, other channels for accessing general practice. Practice receptions should be open so that patients without access to telephone or online services are in no way disadvantaged.

NHS England and NHS Improvement have commissioned an independent evaluation to understand the impact for staff, patients and the wider health and care system of using digital tools in primary care to inform its long-term strategy. The Department continues to work with NHS England and NHS Improvement and general practitioners to assess the impact of different types of appointment and to improve access for all patient groups. The Public sector equality duty requires public authorities to have due regard of the impact of their policies on different protected characteristics, including age.