South Sefton patients positive about GPs

Thursday, July 16, 2020

Results from the latest national GP Patient Survey published by NHS England last week show that patients in south Sefton overall are positive about the care they receive from their GP practice.

This survey provides insight into patients’ experiences of general practice in the period prior to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Headline findings in the area are all above the national average:

  • 87% of patients said that in their last appointment they felt that the healthcare professional recognised and/or understood any mental health needs that they might have had
  • 83% of patients would describe their experience of their GP practice as ‘good’
  • 78% of patients felt that over the past 12 months they had enough support from local services and organisations to help manage conditions
  • When asked how helpful patients found the receptionist at their GP practice 90% of patients said they were helpful.

Dr Craig Gillespie, chair of NHS South Sefton Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: "Whilst we know there are more improvements to make, it’s brilliant that the majority of patients in the area feel that their mental health needs were recognised or understood in their last appointment and most patients rated their GP practice as ‘good’.

"The introduction of GP Extra which provides people with access to a GP 7 days a week is a good example of how we are working with partners to improve services locally.

"Although you may be accessing services a little differently at the moment during the pandemic, it’s important that people know the NHS is here to support you.

"GP practices are providing telephone or video consultations, people will be asked to wear a face-covering if attending an appointment in person and strict infection control procedures are in place to ensure the safety of patients and staff."

Professor Martin Marshall, chair of the Royal College of GPs, said: "The GP Patient Survey shows that 95% of patients had trust and confidence in the last GP or allied health professional they saw with 94% reporting that their needs were met in their last appointment. This is reassuring and a testament to the incredible jobs that GPs and their teams are doing under difficult circumstances.

"We’re also pleased to see that the vast majority of patients continue to report a good experience of their GP practice. However, we can’t ignore the fact that this figure has fallen slightly over recent years, and this demonstrates the intense resource and workforce pressures GPs and our teams have been working under for more than a decade.

"Before the COVID-19 pandemic, the College worked hard to address the workforce pressures and ‘undoable’ workload in general practice, and the knock-on effects these were having on patient care. These issues have understandably taken a back seat during the crisis, but they are no less important and as we consider how the NHS will function post-pandemic, these need to start being addressed again. 

"Interestingly, today’s survey results indicate a slight increase in patient satisfaction in general practice at the beginning of lockdown. While this only covers a brief period during lockdown, it does add weight to College calls to learn from the different ways general practice has been working during the pandemic.

"It’s important that we retain things that have worked well, such as using technology to increase options for patients accessing our services, and reducing the bureaucracy GPs undertake to free up their time for patient care."

To view the results from the national GP Patient Survey, visit: https://www.england.nhs.uk/statistics/statistical-work-areas/gp-patient-survey/

For more information about the GP Extra service, visit: https://www.southseftonccg.nhs.uk/your-health-and-services/gp-extra/

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