DoH reveals practices improve access for patients

Practices have improved access for patients in 3 of 5 key DoH targets, according to figures published today.

They show:

  • 87 per cent of patients were satisfied with telephone access to their local practice in 2007/8 (in 2006/7 it was 86 per cent),
  • 87 per cent of patients who tried to get an appointment quickly could see a GP within 48 hours (86 per cent in 2006/7),
  • 77 per cent of patients who wanted to book ahead for an appointment with a GP were able to do so (75 per cent in 2006/7).

The figure for patients who wanted an appointment with a specific GP and were able to get one with that GP remained at 88 per cent.

The survey also found that 82 per cent of patients were happy with the current opening times of their GP practice (84 per cent in 2006/7).

Of those who were dissatisfied, 44 per cent wanted practices to be open on Saturdays (46 per cent in 2006/7) and 31 per cent wanted later evening opening times (26 per cent in 2006/7).

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said: 'With nearly two million people taking part in this survey and satisfaction rates so high GPs are clearly doing a good job for their patients. We're not perfect and it's also not possible to please everyone all of the time when resources are finite, but it's proof that the vast majority of patients are getting a good service from their GP surgery.'

Health minister Ben Bradshaw said: 'The survey results are a real measure of success for those GPs and their staff who have listened to what their patients think and who have responded with even better access to GP appointments. I congratulate those practices.'

The results of the survey of two million patients in England can also be accessed on the NHS Choices website. This shows how practices compared with others locally.

Further research released today shows that 93 per cent of patients who were referred for further treatment discussed choice of hospital with their GP. Just under 7,000 practices took part in the survey.

GP Patient Survey 2007/08

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