Support practices failing on access, urges BMA Scotland

This year's patient survey results will have a 'significant impact' on practice funding, despite the 'vast majority' of patients reporting good access, according to BMA Scotland.

Dr Marshall: 'Some practices will lose much-needed funding'
Dr Marshall: 'Some practices will lose much-needed funding'

Results of Scotland's 2009/10 patient access survey show 94.5% of patients reported that they could get an appointment within 48 hours and 84.1% could book an advanced appointment.

But BMA Scotland's chairman Dr Dean Marshall said practices struggling with access will again lose money ‘unfairly' and should be offered support to improve instead.

The two questions inform indicators PE7 and PE8 of the QoF and are worth 58.5 QoF points, or around £8,000 for an average-sized practice.

Practices receive no points at all if they score under 70% and 60% for PE7 and PE8 QoF indicators respectively. Thresholds will be lowered this year to 50% and 40% for practices that achieved a swine flu uptake of 50.7% or higher.

‘The results of this survey are linked to GP income and despite these high scores it is likely that some practices will lose much-needed funding,' said Dr Marshall.

‘It is important to seek patient feedback and to identify areas for improvement, but the BMA has repeatedly asked for the link between patient perceptions and pay to be cut. Instead, the BMA has called on the government to put in place measures to support practices that are finding it hard to improve access.'

Patient survey results for England and the rest if the UK are expected in June.

Click here for last year's patient survey results

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