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Patients who see the same GP happier with general practice

19 August 2008

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Patients who frequently contact the same GP report greater satisfaction with general practice than those with less regular contact, an Australian study has found.

The results of a cross-sectional study involving patients from 30 randomly selected general practices was published yesterday in the Medical Journal of Australia.

The General Practice Assessment Questionnaire used in the survey was the same as that used in the UK.

Interestingly, while fewer of the Australian patients (67%) reported satisfaction with access compared with the UK (84%), satisfaction ratings were generally higher than the UK results.

However, greater satisfaction was associated with older patients, good health, more frequent contact with the GP, and seeing the one GP consistently.

Data were analysed from more than 7,000 patients who completed the survey.

Medical Journal of Australia

Your comments: (Terms and conditions apply)

“To play devil’s advocate here – if we had been surveyed 30 years ago asking us if we wanted supermarkets, a lot of us would have said that we liked the personal service and locality of small shops. How many would say that now? We simply got used to supermarkets to the extent that we have driven small shops out of existence. So who can tell how patients would
feel about a different service in a decade’s time?” – Sheila Gilbert, Sheffield

“I think patients do not mind seeing a different doctor a couple of times in a year, but the majority of the times they do want to see their regular doctor. They feel easier and better if they see their usual doctor. But the new goverment plans, where they want to open polyclinics and patients may not be able to see  the same GP again, in my opinion is the worst way to treat a  patient” – Name and address withheld

“Personal relationships are the keystone of family practitioners’ services. It’s no surprise that continuity of care is more satisfying to patients, in fact it’s what many of us have been saying is being ignored in the drive to have greater access at any cost” – Name and address withheld

“This reflects that UK patients are encouraged to demand all the time and expect all their demands to be met – even if they are impossible!” – Mavis Hunt, West Suffolk