About the Project

Find out more about the background behind the project, our aims, and how we're going to get it done.


Due to growing pressure on health services in recent years, there has been an increase in the use of internet-based services in general practice (GP) surgeries. This includes the ability to book appointments, order repeat prescriptions, as well as offering an alternative to face-to-face consultations via email and video. With a drive towards an increased provision of these services, it is important to understand any barriers to use and how they might be overcome, particularly in order to ensure fairness in the provision of healthcare to different groups of people. One way to ensure this is with digital facilitation; supporting NHS patients and carers in their use of online services.


The study aims to understand: How the use of internet-based services are advertised and supported in GP surgeries. The benefits and challenges of different approaches used to support internet-based services for patients and staff.


How we're going to achieve our objectives


We are conducting an extensive scoping literature review to find research that has already been done on this topic. This will allow us to understand the range of approaches used to promote the use of internet based services, and how effective they are.


We are using surveys to ask GP Surgeries about the type of internet-based services they currently offer to patients and how they encourage and enable both patients and staff to use these services. We are surveying patients regarding their digital experiences.


We are talking to a number of GP Surgeries already using various approaches to promote the use of internet-based services. Researchers are observing how the surgeries' approaches work, conducting interviews with patients and staff.


When we bring our research findings together, we will use the resulting information to develop a framework to help guide future related research.