DoH concedes patient surveys 'unreliable'

The DoH has accepted that the recent patient survey did produce unreliable results for certain practices.

It has released further guidance encouraging PCTs to make ex gratia payments to practices with particularly low response rates which had good results in previous years’ surveys.

The DoH maintains that it ‘has not changed its position’ on the methodology of the survey, and says any payment is up to the practices PCT.

The guidance states: ‘PCTs [can] make discretionary local payments where this is beneficial to the delivery of services… Where the result is very low for an individual practice and the PCT can reasonably be assured by other evidence that achieved survey results may be ‘unduly skewed’ from the limited response an individual practice received.’

Practices across the UK have reported low scores in the access section of the £8m patient survey, worth around £7,416 to the average practice

The GPC claims response rates have been so low that they are statistically insignificant.

The guidance maintains that practices in England do not share their results with any third party until national results are released on 30 June.

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