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Patient survey makes good reading for GP practices

Patient survey makes good reading for GP practices
06 September 2017

Some 96% of patients have ‘confidence and trust’ in their GPs across the south east Hampshire area, outside of Portsmouth.

A slightly higher number have confidence and trust in the nurse they saw at their GP practice.

The results were published in the 2017 national GP Patient Survey, and cover the 18 practices in Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group (F&G CCG) and the 20 in the South Eastern Hampshire (SEH) CCG geographical area, which runs from Hayling Island to Bordon, including Havant, Waterlooville and Petersfield.

The survey showed that patients generally had a good experience visiting their local surgery, including convenient appointments and helpful receptionists.

The two CCGs were generally consistently in line with the national average scores, although there were lower scores for the ease of getting through on the phone and the wait to be seen.

More than 7,500 survey forms were sent to patients by Ipsos MORI on behalf of NHS England in both areas from January to March 2017 – of which around half were returned.

The survey measures patients’ experience across five themes – making appointments, waiting times, perceptions of care at appointments, practice opening hours and out-of-hours services.

Key findings included:

  • More than eight out of ten patients described their experience at their local surgery as good (86% in SEH and 82% in F&G). The national average was 85%. Both CCGs improved their rating on the previous year.
  • Seven out of ten SEH patients (74%) – comfortably above the 68% national average - and 61% in F&G said it was easy to get through to their surgery on the phone.
  • Some 87% of F&G patients and 88% in SEH said the receptionists were helpful – in line with the 87% national average.
  • Most people (87% in SEH and 84% in F&G) said they could get an appointment to see or speak to a GP or nurse last time they tried.
  • Despite the increasing demands for GP services, more than nine in ten people (92% in both CCG areas) described the appointment they received as convenient.
  • Around half the respondents (56% in F&G and 55% in SEH) said they ‘don’t wait too long’ to be seen. But 35% of people in both areas said they did have to wait too long.
  • And 76% of patients in SEH, and 74% in F&G, were satisfied with the hours that their surgery was open.

There was also praise for the GPs and nurses who work in general practice.

Patients were asked if their doctors gave them enough time, listened to them, explained tests and treatments, involved them in decisions about their care and treated them with care and concern – and all the scores ranged from a low of 80 up to 91.

The scores were even better for nurses, with nearly all respondents – 98% in F&G and 97% in SEH - saying they had confidence and trust in their practice nurse, with universally high across the areas for the five categories mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Some 96% of patients in both areas had ‘confidence and trust’ in the GP they saw or spoke to – slightly above the national average (95%). The figures were higher for nurses at 98% (F&G) and 97% (SEH).

Dr David Chilvers, who chairs F&G CCG, said: “We obviously always strive to make improvements. But considering the issues we have had with GP recruitment, particularly in Gosport, and the extreme pressure faced by many practices because of a big increase in demand for their services, I’m very encouraged by most of these results.”

Dr Barbara Rushton, who chairs SEH CCG, said: “This survey shows that people have great confidence in their doctors and nurses at their local surgeries - so I would like to thank all the staff who work in general practice for their efforts on behalf of their patients.”

A report into the survey was considered by the two CCGs’ Primary Care Commissioning Committee at a meeting today Wednesday (September 6).