Primary Care Pathfinder: discovery report – research priorities


3. What we focused on

Our research prioritised:

We aimed to speak to citizens, GPs, practice managers and administrative and reception staff in user research because the highest level of demand happens in general practice. We also spoke to pharmacy, dentistry and optometry (eye health) representatives.

4. What we did

We interviewed 14 citizens across Wales, recruited by a specialist agency and screened for a range of characteristics, including age group, gender, ethnicity, health conditions, and Welsh language skills.

These research sessions involved a higher proportion of people reporting poor health and disability than is seen in the general population. This is an established method for understanding people with more complex needs.

We cannot share further detail here for confidentiality reasons, as it could identify the individuals concerned.

Every health board covered

We spoke to GPs and GP surgery staff across every health board, through 60–90-minute interviews with 23 participants. We identified these individuals by communicating through our networks and asking them to fill in a form to indicate interest. This allowed us to select participants to reflect a mix of characteristics, such as urban/rural and small/medium/large practices, as well as levels of deprivation in the practice catchment area

The tables below show a breakdown of the practices and staff we engaged with.

Practice manager12
Administration staff1
Size of practiceNumber
Catchment areaNumber
Practices in areas of deprivationNumber
Not considered deprived18

We reviewed other research, including quantitative studies (collection and analysis of numerical data), to strengthen the findings from the small sample sizes we used. We used these other studies to triangulate (compare findings) with our own primary research.

We also spoke to organisations or groups working in primary care, to learn about their work and their perspectives on the challenges GP services and citizens face. These included:

Next: What we found out