Patient survey reveals improved access in Scotland

GP leaders have praised practices in Scotland as patient survey results reveal a marked improvement in access scores.

The Scottish patient survey found 94.5% of patients in Scotland were able to obtain 48-hour access in 2009/10 compared with 89.6% in 2008/9.

Over 84% of patients in Scotland could book appointments two days in advance compared with 75% last year.

The two results inform the PE7 and PE8 indicators of QOF, although like in England, thresholds will be relaxed for practices which achieved swine flu vaccination targets.

Over 90% of Scotland’s 1,014 practices achieved full points on the 48-hour access target (PE7).  

Dr Andrew Buist, deputy chairman of GPC Scotland, praised practices but said the survey should not be used to financially penalise those struggling with access.

‘We would rather see more practical solutions such as the creation of local support mechanisms for practices and involving patients locally so that flexible tailored solutions can be introduced,’ he said.

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