Creating a highly usable and accessible GP practice website

In 2021 – 2022 NHS Digital performed a study on GP practice website templates and from the results of this they developed a guide for Creating a highly usable accessible GP website for patients.

To assist practices further, a GP website benchmarking and improvement tool was developed which is an audit tool containing 50 items that would score your website as ‘Well’, ‘Adequate’ or ‘Inadequate’.  This tool focuses mainly on the content of your website, how easy it is to read and understand, where it is situated etc.

ICB’s across the country have started to provide the practices within their locality with funding to update their practice websites to meet the standards set out in this audit tool, if you haven’t started this project in your local area yet then it is likely you may hear from your ICB soon.

I have produced a 20-minute walkthrough video demonstrating how you can utilise the features in your SurgeryWeb dashboard to customise your website in order to significantly increase the number of green ‘Well’ items within the audit tool. I would recommend that you set aside some time along with any IT administrators or members of staff within your practice who may maintain your practice website and go through the video to see how you can adopt these changes to your own website.

Alternatively, SurgeryWeb have a new product currently in development which is built using the NHS design manual framework and will meet the ‘Well’ standard for all items within the audit tool. Once this has been completed, it will become the primary template offered to new customers but there will also be an option for existing customers to migrate to this new framework though there will be a small cost associated with this due to the time involved in migrating your existing content in to the new locations. If you would like to register your interest please just let me know via email and I will keep you updated.

Please note: The NHS guidance and benchmarking & improvement tool has been produced solely as guidance and it is not a requirement to do any of this, if you are happy with how your website currently performs then you do not need to make any changes, however there are many benefits to complying with the suggestions as your website is effectively your front door and if a patient can easily find what they are looking for then they wont need to contact your reception.

You can find the video here:

  • 0:00 Creating a highly usable and accessible GP practice website
  • 2:56 Overlays & Pop-ups
  • 5:09 Navigation
  • 9:12 Appointments Page
  • 12:05 Prescriptions Page
  • 13:07 Test Results Page
  • 13:34 Contact Page
  • 14:47 Register with this Practice Page
  • 15:59 Other Pages and Final Items
  • 18:21 New SurgeryWeb Development

If you have any questions or concerns at all about the audit tool or guidance, please feel free to get in touch.

November Update

As always, we like to communicate with our fellow Practices to let you know of any updates or announcements regarding any of our products or services, so please see our latest offerings below.

Website update

Following the communication that was sent on 23rd September ( regarding the latest website update, this deployment has been going very well and although we have a number of Practices still to update, we expect this to be complete within the next 2 weeks. We have also fixed any styling issues which have occured as a result of this update which will then be deployed instantly upon completion of this rollout.

Server upgrade

Upon completion of the website update project, we will begin migrating Practice websites to an upgraded server. When we say upgraded, the specification of the new server is 8 times more powerful than the current series of servers which would massively improve website load speed and the whole patient experience. This will be yet another lengthy project because although any website with a, .com, .org etc domain name (controlled by SurgeryWeb) can be migrated instantly, we are reliant on NHS Digital (and the Scottish equivalent) to assist with the domain names. We anticipate all websites to be running on the new hardware by the end of the year, and are very much looking forward to that happening.

Bag yourself £50 from Amazon before Xmas!

Have you left a review for SurgeryWeb on our PracticeIndex listing yet? If not, why not? We are giving away 3x £50 Amazon Gift Cards to randomly selected winners and all you have to do is head over to our listing on PracticeIndex and leave us a review (preferably 5 stars!) –

Anyone who has already left us a review this year (from 1st January 2022) will automatically be entered. And anyone who has left us a review before this date is eligible to leave another so you won’t be missing out. Reviews must be submitted before 5pm on Wednesday 30th November.

To give PracticeIndex a chance to publish any pending reviews, we will make our draw on Friday 9th December when 3 people will be picked by an independent person not associated with SurgeryWeb. Winners will be notified via email the same afternoon.


Finally, we thought it about time to have a presence on Twitter, so if you’re a “Tweeter” please give us a follow: @surgery_web, we would really appreciate it.

Annual Pricing

From 1st December 2022, the cost of our SurgeryWeb Practice website will be increasing by £19/year for existing Practices, this will make the total cost £269 per year.  We have never raised our prices since SurgeryWeb was first established in 2017 but during this time we’ve seen costs rise again and again, which until now we’ve been able to absorb.

However recent energy prices have increased the costs of hosting the servers we deliver your websites on by a very significant amount. Servers, firewalls, air conditioning and large data feeds are all power hungry so our data centre costs have risen.  Software licenses have also increased over the years, and we have recently introduced new features on the websites such as the new anti-spam measures provided by CleanTalk, all of these additions result in extra expense.

The increase of £19 a year is only 7.6%, much less than the RPI inflation figure for 2017 – September 2022 (almost 20%).

We know price increases are unpalatable, especially at the moment when we are all under financial pressures, however we hope you find our web site service first class and great value for money, and we hope you’ll continue supporting us as we continue to evolve.

SurgeryWeb’s Birthday

I know there’s not much to celebrate at the moment, but this week marks the 4th anniversary of the first SurgeryWeb Practice website going live and to mark this occasion we have decided to do two things…

Increased referral rate

For the month of November, the referral discount has been increased from 5% to 10%. For each Practice you refer to SurgeryWeb who goes live with a new website, you and your referred Practice will both receive 10% discount off your annual invoice (next in your case, first in theirs). That’s an accumulative 10% off for EACH.  The referred Practice does not need to go live during the month of November, they must just commit to signing up by submitting their Initial Setup Form quoting your Practice (ODS) code in the relevant field, however discount wont be applied until the new website does go live.

£50 Amazon gift card raffle

We are giving away 3 x £50 gift cards just in time for Christmas, all you need to do is leave us a review on the PracticeIndex website.

Already left a review? If you have left a review since 1st April 2020, you will be automatically entered for the draw which will take place on Saturday 5th December, you do not need to leave another. If you have left a review before this date, PracticeIndex are happy for you to leave another so you are not excluded. And if you haven’t yet left one, what are you waiting for?

The winners will be notified directly via email on or shortly after 5th December.

Direct link:

I would like to personally thank you all for your continued support.

Practice Boundary Map Update

For Practices using the Catchment Area tool from the old Primary Care Web Tool website (now managed by NHS Digital), it appears that all issues have been resolved and the postcode checker facility is fully functional.

And for the Practices not using this tool, it can be a very handy addition to your website, the map will show a rough (though sometimes quite accurate) outline of your catchment area and includes a postcode checker for patients to see if their postcode is within your boundary. If you would like it adding to your website, drop us an email here: and we’ll assist you with this.

  • Posted on June 10th, 2019 in News

Practice Boundary Map Update

We have received the following from NHS Digital regarding the Practice Boundary map on Practice websites:

NHS Digital are aware of the current technical issues being encountered with the existing catchment area links in use and we are aware that a technical solution has been made ready and is imminent on being deployed.

We anticipate that the approach taken will auto-redirect existing catchment area links in use onto NHS Digital’s new systems which will resolve the issue reported, without any further action been necessary. However should it be found necessary where a practice will need to take any specific action to update their website catchment area links to the practice website, NHS Digital will send out further communication to all practices to provide any guidance and support in relation to this service.

To request further support in relation to catchment area services please contact NHS Digital enquiries at

  • Posted on April 3rd, 2019 in News

Primary Care Web Tool Practice Boundary Map

An e-mail was sent out on Wednesday 27th March by the Primary Care Web Tool team to notify Practices that their website would be closing from 31st March 2019.  I immediately replied to this to ask what would be happening to the Practice Boundary feature that they have hosted for many years because thousands of Practice websites use this feature, would there be an alternative or will they still be supporting it etc..

The reply I received was that a further email would follow regarding the catchment areas tool – this has not yet been sent as far as I am aware.

As expected, the Practice boundary map is not currently working on any Practice websites until this is taken over, and I have heard from other sources that NHS Digital may be taking over the support of this tool, but until confirmed this is unfortunately out of our hands and the map will not display correctly.

  • Posted on April 2nd, 2019 in News

We are GDPR compliant

Following a successful deployment of SurgeryWeb Theme version 2.8 and an update of the main SurgeryWeb website, we are now the only Practice website supplier to become fully compliant.

Each of the Practice websites we supply have features to collect consent on submissions of various forms, a written privacy policy which gives details about the personal data that is collected, who can view it and how it is stored, and other additional features.

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