GPs set to lose out despite impressive survey results

Large numbers of GP practices are expected to lose out after results of the 2008/9 patient experience survey for England were announced today, despite evidence that the vast majority of patients are satisfied with their GP practice.

Headline results of the survey show 91% of patients were satisfied overall with their GP practice, including 58% who were ‘very satisfied’.

Some 97% said it was easy to get into their GP practice, 84% were able to be seen on the same day or within the next two days, and 76% were able to book appointments ahead.

A total of 82% of patients said they were satisfied with opening hours at their GP practice.

Trust in GPs was high, with 95% of patients saying they had trust and confidence in their GP.

But two of the survey’s questions generate around £8,000 in QOF income per average GP practice, and early analysis suggests that in some PCT areas up to 20% of practices will receive nothing for a question about booking ahead, because fewer than 60% of patients said they could do so. In some cases, though, results are based on just a handful of responses.

The GPC has predicted ‘significant numbers’ of practices will face losses. GP newspaper reported recently that up to 40% of practices will appeal against the results of their patient surveys.

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