Patient satisfaction up but GP access 'could be quicker'

Patients in England are more satisfied with GP care than three years ago but almost a quarter felt that they should have been seen sooner.

The survey of 69,000 patients was co-ordinated for the Healthcare Commission by Picker Institute Europe.
It found patient satisfaction with GPs increased in five tests:

  •  74 per cent said that the main reason they went to see their GP was dealt with completely to their satisfaction (73 per cent in 2005)
  • 93 per cent said they were treated with respect and dignity ‘all of the time’ (92 per cent)
  • 83 per cent said their GP ‘definitely’ listened to them carefully (82 per cent)
  • 76 per cent said they were ‘definitely’ given enough time to discuss their problem (74 per cent)
  • 77 per cent said they ‘definitely’ had trust and confidence in their doctor (76 per cent).

However, while the proportion of patients who waited two working days or less for their last appointment with a doctor rose from 74 to 75 per cent, 23 per cent of patients who made an appointment felt that they should have been seen sooner than they were.

25 per cent said that they had at some time been put off going to their practice because the opening times were inconvenient, up from 21 per cent.

Anna Walker, the Healthcare Commission’s chief executive, said: ‘This survey shows the high regard that many patients have for the services at their GP surgeries. That is really good news.

‘However, people clearly do want to be able to see a GP more easily and at more convenient times.’

neil.durham@haymarket.com

Healthcare Commission

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