Patient access survey scores fall slightly in 2009/10

Practices' performance in the patient access survey has fallen slightly since last year.

The results of the 2009/10 survey show 80% of patients were able to see a GP within 48 hours, down slightly from 84% in 2008/9.

71% of patients could book ahead, compared with 76% in 2008/9.

The questions inform indicators PE7 and PE8 of the QOF, worth 58.5 points or around £8,000 to the average practice.

Overall satisfaction with general practice remains extremely high - 90% of patients were either 'very satisfied' or 'fairly satisfied'.

The survey in its current form was rolled out in 2008/9, and left some practices facing losses of up to £16,000 compared to the previous year.

But for 2009/10 practices that vaccinated 50.7% or more of their vulnerable patients against swine flu will have their patient survey QOF thresholds relaxed.

Practices with both their uptake figures and patient survey score can calculate how much cash they will receive using this online calculator.

Health secretary Andrew Lansley recently signalled that this could be the final year of the patient survey in its current form.

In his first speech since taking office, Mr Lansley said patient access surveys in general practice ‘miss the point of whether patients are doing well'.

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