24 October 2023

Swindon Coalition Challenging Barriers to GPs. Swindon Equality Coalition is asking Swindon residents to talk about barriers they face in trying to see a GP or family doctor. A new survey aims to raise awareness of the extra problems that people from certain groups face.

Reports of people having difficulties seeing their GP have become widespread since the lockdowns. And the new survey aims to highlight the people and groups being hardest hit.

The Equality Coalition came into being in 2010 with a view to being a focus for action around the Equality Act. It came into law that same year.

Coalition Chair, Michelle Howard, says that disability, age and ethnicity can all make things especially difficult for people. ‘There are nine ‘protected characteristics’ listed in the Equality Act. They got included because there clear discrimination existed against people in those groups’ she said.

‘What we’re doing today is asking people to look again. And then to be honest where barriers are bigger because someone has one or more of those protected characteristics.’

Coordinated by Voluntary Action Swindon, the Swindon Equality Coalition currently has over twenty members. The members include:

Longstanding coalition member Judith Furse, who’s registered blind, says that having a disability can make talking to your GP very difficult.

Challenging Barriers to GPs - Michelle Howard, Chair of Swindon Equality Commission
Challenging Barriers to GPs – Michelle Howard, Chair of Swindon Equality Commission

A clear message

‘The message is clear that barriers to GPs have become bigger over recent years. This new campaign aims to get people to talk about why it could be harder for some people to get a GP consultation than for others’ Furse said.

The survey consists of a single question: ‘What was hard about getting to talk to your GP?’

You can fill in the survey online at www.vas-swindon.org/gp, by calling 07912 487608, or write to GP Survey, 1 John Street, Swindon SN1 1RT

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