Swindon residents are being asked to talk about barriers they may face in trying to see a GP. 

A new survey from Swindon Equality Coalition has just launched after reports of people having difficulties seeing their GP have become widespread since the lockdowns.

Coalition chair Michelle Howard says that disability, age and ethnicity can all make things especially difficult for people.

“There are nine ‘protected characteristics’ listed in the Equality Act – they were included because there was clear discrimination against people in those groups” she said.

“What we’re doing today is to ask people to look again, and to be honest where barriers are bigger because someone has one or more of those protected characteristics.”

Longstanding coalition member Judith Furse, who is registered blind, says that having a disability can make talking to your GP very difficult.

“The message is clear that barriers to GPs have become bigger over recent years. This new campaign aims to get people to talk about why it could be harder for some people to get a GP consultation than for others” Furse said.

The Equality Coalition was formed in 2010 with a view to being a focus for action around the Equality Act, which came into law that same year.

You can fill in the survey online at www.vas-swindon.org/gp, by calling 07912 487608, or by writing to GP Survey, 1 John Street, Swindon SN1 1RT.