Patient satisfaction with GPs varies more than two-fold between PCNs

Overall patient satisfaction with general practice varies more than two-fold between PCNs, analysis by GPonline reveals.

GP consultation
(Photo: Luis Alvarez/Getty Images)

Patient satisfaction with general practice slumped to its lowest point in five years after a 10 percentage-point drop in 2022, according to GP patient survey results published in July.

GP leaders blamed the fall in satisfaction on intense pressure on general practice, with an unprecedented 367m appointments in 2021 delivered by a workforce that remains in decline.

However, satisfaction with general practice varies widely across England - both across large integrated care system (ICS) areas and between PCNs.

Patient satisfaction

At ICS level, the overall proportion of patients who rated general practice as good ranges from 63% in the Birmingham and Solihull ICS to 81% in Gloucestershire ICS.

At PCN level, the proportion of patients who rate their overall experience of general practice as 'good' ranges from a low of 41% in the Ashford Medical Partnership PCN to a high of 94% recorded for Western Dales PCN in Cumbria.

Hover over the circles above to see proportion of patients rating GP services as good and how many PCNs fell into that group.

More than three in five PCNs across England were rated 'good' overall by 70% or more of patients who responded to the patient survey, the data show.

However, one in 10 PCNs were rated good by 60% or fewer of patients who took part in the survey - suggesting deep strain on the relationship between patients and GPs in parts of England.

BMA England GP committee chair Dr Farah Jameel said last month that general practice 'needs investment, more GPs, and more support to see as many patients as possible in a way which meets their needs'.

She said falling patient satisfaction was a 'stark reflection of the capacity shortfall that general practice is facing'. Dr Jameel added: 'This situation will only improve if the government provides the investment and support that is needed to grow the general practice workforce and improve access to services.'

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