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GP patient survey suggests satisfaction is falling

4 July 2014

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Patients’ experience of NHS primary care in England is good overall but shows signs of slipping against previous years´ results, according to the latest national GP Patient Survey.

Results published by NHS England together with Ipsos MORI show that 85.7% describe the overall experience of their GP surgery as good – 1% less than last year’s results published in June 2013.

The survey is sent out twice a year to over one million randomly selected adult patients with an overall response rate of 34%.

Other key findings include:

 – 74.6% of patients rate their overall experience of making an appointment as good (1.7% lower than last year, 4.5% lower than the year before).

– 76.9% of patients are satisfied with the hours that their GP surgery is open (2.7% lower than last year and 4% lower than the year before).

– 74.6% of patients said that their GP surgery is open at times that are convenient for them (2.2% lower than last year and 3.1% lower than the year before).

Dr David Geddes, head of primary care commissioning at NHS England, said: “Overall, these results show that the majority of patients are positive about their GP services. But we need to recognise the continuing trend in what patients are telling us about access to services, particularly out of hours.”

Professor Nigel Mathers, honorary secretary of the Royal College of General Practitioners said: “We are very concerned that some patients are finding it difficult to make a GP appointment when they want one. Every patient should be able to see their GP when they need to, and it is especially worrying that some patients did not manage to get an appointment at all.

“We hope politicians take note and act on our calls for general practice to receive 11% of the NHS budget by 2017. This would allow us to recruit more GPs and offer more services and appointments for patients so that we are able to give them the care that they need and deserve, when they want it.”

The full national summary report is available to view online