Exclusive: Minister blames GPs for poor patient survey response

Health minister Mike O'Brien has blamed GPs for poor response rates to the patient survey as over 17% of practices receive no points for the disputed access question PE8.

Our analysis of the patient survey results reveal that 32.5% of responses to the question on advanced booking fell outside the accepted statistical confidence limit of 7%.

But Mr O’Brien said some practices had not done enough to ensure their response rates were high enough.

Speaking exclusively to GP newspaper, he said: ‘We do expect GPs to respond to their surveys  – some make sure their response rate is high, others are not doing so,’ he said.

The methodology was ‘robust’ said Mr O’Brien, and the nature of such a survey meant some practices would lose out.

‘The penalty is actually quite small,’ he said.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman said millions of pounds had been taken from general practice and called for the survey to be scrapped.

One 14,000 patient practice in rural Lancashire stands to lose £10,000 after less than 1% of its patients answered the questions about 48 hour and advanced access. 93% of their patients were happy with the practice’s 48-hour access and 61% with their advanced access.


  • Read the next issue of GP dated 10 July for the full interview with the new primary care minister.

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