The problem

When patients visit their GP, problems are missed 50% of the time. This might be because appointments are too short, or because doctors don’t let patients explain their problems fully. Sometimes, patients are confused by the doctor’s advice but don’t have time to get it clarified.

What we will do

We will develop and test a new method to help reduce the number of problems missed during GP appointments.

Where and when

The study will take place in six GP practices in the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group area from October 2019 – October 2021.

How we will do it

Patients will be asked to fill in an online form before they see the doctor, which will be shared with the doctor. Afterwards patients will get a printed report. The online form will say why they have come and give details of their health problems. This means the patient can tell the doctor everything they are concerned about. The printed report the patient gets at the end of the appointment will show what the doctor and patient agreed. Having the doctor’s advice in writing should make it easier to remember.

We will do the study in two parts: one to develop the method and one to test it.

In part one the online form and printed report will be tried out in three GP practices one after the other (15 patients from each). We will talk to patients, doctors and practice staff and use their feedback to improve the form and report. Each improved version will be tried in the next health centre. Part 1 will result in a final version of the new method that is ready to test.

In part two we will test the final version in four GP practices with 72 patients, and also collect information about how well the activities worked. We will collect the same information from two health centres (36 patients) that are not using the new method, so that we can compare results. Part 2 will let us work out if it is practical to do a larger study to compare the two groups.

Who is involved

The study was funded by the National Institute of Health Research and was approved by Frenchay NHS research ethics committee. The sponsor is the University of Bristol and the host is Bristol North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group . The study chief investigator is Mairead Murphy and the co-investigators are Chris Salisbury, Richard Morris , Geoff Wong and Jude Hancock.  

Information from the study

All your information will be securely stored in accordance with the General Data Protection Ruling. 

More Information

More detailed information leaflets for the study can be found at the link Protocol and Information Leaflets. 


Summary Information for study participants

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