London GPs to get PR help with patient surveys

GPs in central London are to receive assistance from a PR company to help them achieve higher patient survey scores.

Patient surveys: Islington practices will be offered payment via an LES to work with PR experts (Photograph: Jason Heath Lancy)
Patient surveys: Islington practices will be offered payment via an LES to work with PR experts (Photograph: Jason Heath Lancy)

Under the scheme by NHS Islington, advisers from PR firm Salix Consulting will visit GPs to try to boost 'patient experience' measures in the national patient survey.

The PCT said Salix would provide 'research and communications services to support early stages of the work with individual GPs and practices'.

A spokesman said: 'NHS Islington is undertaking a programme of work, in partnership with its LMC, to engage practices in the process of improving patient experience.'

GPs will be offered payment via a local enhanced service to work with the consultants and improve patient survey scores.

GPC negotiator Dr Chaand Nagpaul said he backed support for practices losing income as a result of the patient survey. But he warned against PR firms changing how practices work.

'We have always had concerns about patient experience being measured using two crude parameters (48-hour access and advanced booking).

'Practices should be supported to improve their scores, but we would not want PR firms implementing changes to practice systems. GPs must remain in control of their appointment systems.'

Islington GP Dr Cornel Fleming said that, unless the scheme targeted GPs with low scores, it could be a waste of money.

The national GP patient survey cost £8 million in 2009. The GPC believes this would be better spent on setting up patient groups to gather opinion.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Register

Already registered?

Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus