As the NHS treats more patients than ever before, a new nationwide survey shows the vast majority of people are positive about their GP care – with eight out of ten patients rating their overall experience of their GP surgery as good.
The survey also found that confidence and trust in GPs and healthcare professionals remains extremely high at 95.6%, and 93.5% of patients felt involved in decisions about their care and treatment, while 94.8% felt the healthcare professional met their needs.
The GP Patient Survey 2018 compiled responses from almost 760,000 people across the country on their experience of healthcare services provided by GP surgeries, including access to GPs, making appointments, the quality of care received from GPs and other health professionals, waiting times, and satisfaction with opening hours and out-of-hours NHS services. The survey, which has been redesigned to better reflect patient experience and the changing shape of primary care, has also been extended to include 16-17 year olds for the first time.
Further findings include that 83.8% described their overall experience of their GP practice as very or fairly good. The majority of patients (68.6%) rated their overall experience of making an appointment as good. Overall 61.6% of patients got an appointment at a time they wanted or sooner and 66.1% of patients who wanted a same day appointment got one.
Around seven in ten patients say it is very or fairly easy to get through to someone at their GP surgery on the phone, while more than 78% of patients who have used their GP practice website said they found it easy to access information or services.
When asked about their last appointment, 89.0% of patients said the healthcare professional was good at listening to them, 87.4% felt they were good at treating them and 86.8% of patients said they had been given enough time.
Dr Nikita Kanani, Acting Director of Primary Care for NHS England, said: “General Practice is the foundation of the NHS and this survey shows patients appreciate the fantastic job GPs and the wider primary care work force are doing in times of real pressure, helping more people living with increasingly complex conditions.
“We are already putting record funding into primary care after years of underinvestment, with an additional £2.4 billion every year by 2020 to help drive improvements in care, including widening access with more GPs are in training than ever before – a record 3,157 began their studies last year. As we develop a long term plan for the NHS, we will look to further build on these successes and this critical foundation.”
- 83.8% described the overall experience of their GP surgery as good.
- 68.6% of patients rated their overall experience of making an appointment as good.
- Of everyone who wanted a same day appointment, 66.1% got one.
- Of those who have a preferred GP, more than half (50.2%) said that they see or speak to them a lot of the time, almost always or always.
- 93.5% of patients felt involved in decisions about their care and treatment.
- 87.4% felt their healthcare professional was good at treating them.
- 78.3% of patients who have tried to use their GP practice website found it easy to access information or services.
- Almost seven in ten patients (68.7%) reported a good experience of NHS services when they wanted to see a GP but their GP practice was closed.
- 91.2% of patients had confidence and trust in all of the people they saw or spoke to when their GP practice was closed.
The GP Patient Survey data publications can be found on the GP Patient Survey website: gp-patient.co.uk