Alternative pathways into primary care (survey for members of the public)

Closed 17 Feb 2022

Opened 21 Jan 2022


Experiences of alternative pathways in primary care

The Health, Social Care and Sport Committee is undertaking an inquiry about the different ways patients access healthcare services in Scotland.

Primary care services provide the first point of contact in the healthcare system, acting as the ‘front door’ of the NHS. When a person seeks healthcare their first point of contact is usually with a general practitioner (a GP, or family doctor). Our inquiry, however, is focused on other sources of healthcare that exist in the community, which we term ‘alternative’ pathways. These include:

  • seeing a different ‘health practitioner’ who works in the GP practice or in the local community, examples of which include:
    • physiotherapists
    • nurses
    • podiatrists
  • being directed to other types of support, sometimes referred to as social prescribing, to improve health and wellbeing which could include:
    • walking groups
    • community groups
    • advice
    • volunteering
  • Using telephone helplines or websites to access additional information or online therapy.

The aim of this survey is to ask people about their experience of using these alternative pathways. We would also like to hear about any problems people may have encountered.

How to submit your views  

Please submit your views via the survey linked to below. 

We welcome written views in English, Gaelic, Scots or any other language.  

We would like to hear from you by 17 February 2022.

What happens next

The views you provide will be analysed and summarised by the Scottish Parliament Information Centre (SPICe).  A high-level analysis of responses will be made publicly available.



  • HSCS