Healthwatch Warwickshire has partnered with South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT) to carry out an engagement project to find out what people think about a ‘digital patient portal’, an online way to manage and interact with healthcare services such as hospital based services. We asked people what they would find useful and what might prevent them from using a digital means to access health services. The results from this independent engagement will be fed back to SWFT, ensuring that the patient voice is reflected in the design, development and implementation of a digital platform.
Healthwatch Warwickshire listened to and gathered views from 428 people over a four-week period running from November to December 2019. We produced a questionnaire which was used online and in face-to-face engagement. The online survey captured 226 people’s views and our face-to-face engagement captured 202 people’s views. We found that overall, people were in favour of a patient portal – with 71% saying that they would find it useful. We learnt that functions such as booking appointments, viewing results or managing car parking were popular choices for functions of a portal and that issues of security and ease of use might prevent people from using it.