First GP Friends and Family tests show 90% of patients would recommend their practice

The first GP practice scores from NHS 'friends and family' tests reveal that nine out of 10 patients would recommend their GP practice to people requiring similar care or treatment.

Consultation: test scores show patients would recommend their GP (Photo: JH Lancy)
Consultation: test scores show patients would recommend their GP (Photo: JH Lancy)

Findings from the test have been released a month earlier than planned to avoid a clash with the pre-general election 'purdah' period, which begins when parliament goes into recess from 30 March.

Data published by NHS England show that 89% of respondents across England in January and February would recommend their practice. Just one in 20 said they would not recommend their GP practice.

All practices are expected to submit Friends and Family test data under the GP contract, but the brief report released by NHS England suggests hundreds have yet to do so.

GPs backed by patients

In January, 6,987 practices submitted data from the tests. In February, 5,405 did so - far short of the 7,924 NHS England expected to receive data from.

Fewer than 50 patients per practice took part in the test in January, and participation appears to have dropped sharply in February. Just 352,766 responses from patients were recorded across England in January, and 200,426 in February.

One practice in Leicestershire recorded more than 1,000 Friends and Family test responses in February, although the vast majority across England managed fewer than 100, and hundreds recorded no responses at all, the data show.

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