Healthwatch Southend undertook a mystery shopper exercise to see what information local GP practice websites held for patients with cancer, especially during the lockdown period.
During lockdown, virtually all elective interventions for patients with cancer were suspended, increasing anxiety for a vulnerable group of patients. An initial study had been undertaken by Central Bedfordshire to inform the work of the East of England Cancer Alliance; other local Healthwatch agreed to replicate the study to add weight to calls for accurate and timely information to be available.
a small number of practices which did not have a website at all – four out of 26
information relevant to patients with cancer, especially links to MacMillan Cancer Research, was available on most websites, but might require some searching.
Links to cancer support groups were found on about half the websites. Unfortunately some hyperlinks were broken.
most websites lacked a link to Healthwatch Southend.
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