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New survey to probe patients in greater depth

30 December 2008

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The 2008/09 GP patient survey will ask patients more detailed questions about the service they receive than in previous years, it has been revealed.

The Department of Health (DH) said that 5.7 million registered patients in England will be invited to take part during the first three months of the year.

Guidance on the expanded survey, which will be conducted by Ipsos MORI, has been issued to GP practices and primary care trusts across the country.

Patients will be asked a wider range of questions than before, covering issues such as their experience of out-of-hours services, how clean their GP practice is, as well as how easy it is to book appointments.

The DH said that the survey would respond to commitments made in the NHS Next Stage Review and would give patients a greater say. It aims to identify whether practices are providing not just fast, convenient access, but an all-round quality patient experience.

The GP patient survey was first established in 2006/07 and has been carried out annually since then. Once the 2008/09 survey is complete it will move to a quarterly cycle for the next three years, with the first quarterly survey starting in April 2009.

This year’s survey is expected to cost about £8m.

Copyright © Press Association 2008

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