Patients in England largely positive about general practice

ALMOST 85 per cent of patients in England rate their overall experience of their GP surgery as good, according to a survey carried out by NHS England.

The GP Patient Survey 2017 compiled responses from more than 800,000 people across the country on their experience of healthcare services provided by GP surgeries. The survey found that confidence and trust in GPs remains high at 92 per cent and 77 per cent of patients would recommend their GP surgery to someone just moving to the local area.

Over 72 per cent of patients rated their overall experience of making an appointment as good, with 84 per cent able to get an appointment the last time they tried and around 68 per cent saying it is very or fairly easy to get through to someone at their GP surgery on the phone.

But over one in 10 patients (11.3 per cent) reported being unable to get an appointment – an increase of 0.5 per cent on last year – and only 46 per cent said they can usually see their preferred GP – a drop of 2.4 per cent on last year.

The survey found improvement in the awareness of online GP services, with more being aware of how to book appointments (up 3.8 per cent on last year to 36.1 per cent), order repeat prescriptions (up 2.6 per cent to 34.1 per cent) and access to medical records (up to 8.9 per cent).

Dr Arvind Madan, Director of Primary Care for NHS England, said: “General Practice is the foundation of the NHS and this survey shows patients appreciate the fantastic job GPs and the wider primary care work force are doing in times of real pressure with more patients having increasingly complex conditions.”