Patients asked whether practices should open Sundays

Patients are being asked whether they would like practices to open on Sundays in the GP Patient Experience Survey.

Photograph: JH Lancy
Photograph: JH Lancy

The GPC fears patients may be put off replying to the 44-question GP survey because of its length.

The questionnaire for England and Northern Ireland was launched yesterday and is worth an average of £8,000 per practice.

23.5 points are available if more than 70% of patients are able to obtain a consultation with a GP within two working days.

35 points are available if more than 60% are able to book an appointment with a GP more than two days in advance.

Patients are asked to rank cleanliness, receptionists, waiting time, opening hours and ease of access to practices. There is also a section about out-of-hours care.

One question is 'Which of the following additional times would you most like the GP surgery or health centre to be open? Please pick one answer showing the time you would most like it to be open'.

  • Before 8am
  • At lunchtime
  • After 6.30pm
  • On a Saturday
  • On a Sunday

Patients are also asked to rate GPs and practice nurses from very good to very poor on giving patients enough time, asking about symptoms, listening to patients, explaining tests and treatments, involving patients in decisions about their care, treating them with care and concern and taking their problems seriously.

GPC chairman Dr Laurence Buckman has criticised the survey which replaces the practice-based, local patient surveys in the quality framework.

He said: ‘GPs want feedback from patients as it helps them improve the service they offer. However, we think the length and complexity of the new surveys for England and Northern Ireland may put some people off replying.’

Survey results will be published in July.

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