Patient participation information for giving feedback on using your GP practice website


Your GP practice and NHS England are inviting patients to take part in research which aims to help make it easier for everyone to request health advice and support using your GP practice website for minor health conditions.

Why you’ve been invited

Your GP practice may have sent you a text or spoken to you because they think you had an appointment with them in the last 12 months for a condition that sometimes can be managed by a community pharmacist.

Your data has not been shared and participation is voluntary

Your personal data has not been shared with anyone outside the GP practice. You are under no obligation to do participate in this research. Your decision to participate will not impact the care you receive at your GP practice.

What do you need to know before you take part?

Before you decide if you’d like to take part, it is important that you understand why this project is being done and what it would involve for you.

A research team from NHS England would like to talk to around 50 patients from four GP practices in London, including yours. The researcher’s role is to talk with and understand the needs of patients, especially people who may not feel as confident doing things using the internet. The researcher will make recommendations to help make it easier for all patients to use GP practice websites for requesting help about minor health conditions.

The research team will not share the details of anything you discuss during a research session with your GP practice, and it won’t affect the care you receive from the NHS.

Please take time to read this information and discuss it with others if you wish. If there is anything that is not clear, or if you would like more information, please ask the Digital First Primary Care research team by emailing or by calling 07876 582 771.

What this project is all about and what you will be asked to do

The research would like to talk to you in a research session which will take about 60 minutes. During the session the researcher will ask you about your general experience of contacting your GP practice and ask you to test a new website.

The purpose of this research is to understand:

  • How people contact their GP practice when they need advice and treatment
  • Whether it is easy to use contact your GP practice online about a minor health condition
  • Attitudes to local pharmacists managing minor health conditions

The researcher will also ask you about a recent experience you had contacting your GP practice for advice or treatment about a minor health issue. They will ask you to go on the internet and describe symptoms you had and the help you were looking for. They will also ask for your feedback on sections where it was easy to use and to let them know where it was harder to use and how it could work better for you.

Your participation is voluntary, and you can change your mind at any stage

Taking part is voluntary and you can change your mind at any time. You can also change your mind after you have taken part in the project without giving a reason. Just contact the Digital First Primary Care research team on or on 07876 582 771 and your data will be removed from the study.

Not participating or withdrawing from the research will not affect the care you receive from your GP or the NHS.

You will receive a £40 shopping voucher for taking part

After completing the user research session you will receive, via email, an instant digital delivery of a £40 multi-brand gift card, which can be used to purchase items from a variety of popular shops such as Amazon, John Lewis, etc.

When and how the sessions will happen

The project is taking place between August and October this year. To check your suitability for the project a member of the research team will have a 15 min telephone call with you first.

If you meet the research criteria, you will be invited to take part in a session with one of the researchers. This will take about 60 minutes and can either be via video call (at home using your computer, laptop, tablet or your mobile phone) or in a face-to-face session in your GP practice. The research team will arrange all of this with you well before the session. If you opt for a video call session, they will give you a call just before to check that you are ready and help you set up if needed.

After the session the research team will write to you by email/post to say thank you and let you know how we have used your feedback.

The research team will respect your privacy and we follow NHS guidelines on data protection and privacy.

What happens in a face-to-face session in my GP Practice

A member of the research team will arrange a time for you to meet them at your GP Practice.

Any requirement by your GP Practice in relation to your visit will be passed on to you well in advance of your session.

What happens in a video call (User Research) session?

  • This will take place using Microsoft Teams, and the research team will send you, in advance, the details of the video call and the link and call you just before to check everything is working and to see if you need any help.
  • You can do this on a computer or laptop with an internet connection. If you prefer to do this session on your mobile phone, you will need to download the Microsoft Teams app and the team will talk you through how to do this during the call before the session.
  • During this video call we will ask you to share your screen so that you can show us how you use the online consultation tools.
  • The researcher will remind you to close-up anything personal or private on your screen and our interviewer will not ask for personal information – and will ask you to confirm you are happy to proceed.

Recording the video call (User Research) session

  • With your consent the researcher will record the video call of the session.
  • Other people involved in the design of the service may watch the recording of your session in the future.
  • These recordings will be treated as confidential and will not be shared outside of NHS England.
  • The recording will be deleted when the final report is complete (estimated to be by the end of 2021).
  • With your consent (and only if you consent), the session will be observed by other members of our research team.

What to do if you’d like to take part

Make sure you have read this information and tell us you would like to take part by emailing Luke Whewall and the Digital First Primary Care research team on or calling 07876 582 771.

If you need additional support taking part

If you’d like someone to sit with you, or someone to help with translating that’s great, just let the research team know what support you need. If you use assistive technology, please let them know what type and they will contact you to talk it through further.

If you would like help in any other way and have any questions, please contact the Digital First Primary Care research team on or call 07876 582 771.

Additional information

The NHS Commissioning Board has a duty to exercise its functions with a view to securing continuous improvement in the quality of services provided to individuals. It also has a duty under section 13E(2) to act with a view to securing continuous improvement in the outcomes that are achieved from the provision of the services.

The outcomes relevant for the purposes of section 13E(2) are:

  • The effectiveness of the services;
  • The safety of the services; and
  • The quality of the experience undergone by patients.

In discharging this duty, the NHSCB must have regard to any document published by the Secretary of State for the purposes of section 13E and the quality standards prepared by NICE under section 234 of the HSCA.

(NHS Act 2006, S13E, HSCA 2012 S23)

The lawful basis for processing of data under GDPR Article 9 (2)h – The processing is necessary for health or social care purposes.