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GP patient survey being updated in 2024 to focus on access

by Eliza Parr
4 January 2024

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This year’s GP patient survey will have a ‘stronger focus’ on patient experience of access and progress against the recovery plan. 

NHS England has confirmed that the annual survey will begin in January and will have a new set of questions. 

It will therefore not be possible to compare data for 2024 with previous years to monitor trends. 

The new questions will help ICBs ascertain whether PCNs have achieved the required improvement in access to be awarded IIF money. 

Based on the imposed GP contract for this year, 70% of the total IIF funding has been allocated as a monthly payment to PCNs, however the remaining 30% is conditional and based on performance.

The GP recovery plan in May said: ‘A major change in 2023/24 is for 30% of the retargeted IIF incentive to be awarded by ICBs conditional on PCNs achieving agreed improvement in access and experience. 

‘This will require systems to understand the GP Patient Survey for their PCNs and practices and triangulate the data with local feedback and insights.’

NHS England’s GP patient survey, carried out by Ipsos, will therefore help determine whether practices receive IIF money this year. 

Details of the new questions have not yet been published, but in an NHS England primary care bulletin sent out at the end of December, it said that they would be based on the principles of ‘modern general practice access’. 

The update said: ‘Changes have been made to the question set to give stronger focus to patient experience of modern general practice access, as set out in the primary care access recovery plan. 

‘This insight will be important for ongoing service improvement.’

Practices can download posters and social media graphics to help promote the survey, NHS England also said.

Results of the 2023 GP patient survey found that 71.3% had a ‘good overall experience’ of their GP practice, a slight decrease from 72.4% in 2022 and the lowest level since the 2018 survey.

The BMA’s GP Committee said ‘massive investment’ in general practice is required to turn around these ratings.

A version of this story was first published on our sister title Pulse