The watchdog's 'NHS health check' for 2007/8 found that, overall, the NHS had improved both their clinical and financial performance, with nearly two-thirds of trusts rated either 'excellent' or 'good' in at least one category.
But it identified primary care as the part of the health service in need of most improvement, with only a third of trusts rating above 'good'.
The report cited access to GPs and the provision of choice as particular areas of concern.
Dr Hamish Meldrum, BMA chairman, questioned the watchdog's conclusion that access remained a problem, noting that nearly 90 per cent of patients now say they are able to see a GP within 24 hours.
But he added that NHS performance in London, which has declined since last year, remained 'deeply worrying'
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