1 Executive Summary
1.1 Over 100,000 individuals registered with a GP practice in Scotland responded to the 2015/16 Health and Care Experience Survey.
1.2 The survey asked respondents to feed back their experiences of their GP practices and out of hours care. The survey also asked about experiences of social care services and asked specific questions of those with caring responsibilities.
1.3 As in the previous survey, most patients were positive about the care and treatment they received at GP practices. The overall positive rating of GP care has remained the same as last year at 87 per cent.
1.4 Patients were particularly positive about their experiences in consultations with doctors and nurses. Questions relating to the doctor 'listening to me' (95 per cent positive) and having 'enough time with the nurse' (96 per cent positive) were amongst the best results in the survey.
1.5 Medication was another area of the survey which received very positive responses, with the four most positive questions all relating to medication. However, whilst patients were very positive about understanding 'how and when to take [their] medicines' (98 per cent positive), they were less positive about understanding their potential side effects (82 per cent positive)
1.6 The most negatively answered question in this section related to how perceived mistakes were dealt with. The question was only asked of the small number of patients that believed they had experienced a mistake. However, only 46 per cent of them were satisfied with how it was dealt with.
1.7 Whilst most patients do report positive experiences of accessing GP services, this continues to be an area of relative concern for respondents. Four of the five most negatively answered GP questions related to issues of access.
1.8 For a number of access questions this survey continues a downward trend in results. For example, the overall positive rating of 'arrangements for getting to see a doctor' (71 per cent) has dropped one percentage point since the previous survey. However, this continues a trend that has seen the rating drop each survey since 2009/10. The positive rating is now ten percentage points below the 2009/10 figure of 81 per cent.
Out of Hours Care
1.9 The overall positive rating for out-of-hours healthcare has remained steady from the previous survey at 71 per cent.
1.10 Responses varied depending on the out of hours service that patients were treated by. Taken as a whole, the results for patients treated by Primary Care Emergency Centres and by ambulance/paramedics were the most positive.
1.11 In addition, patients that were treated by doctors (as opposed to nurses, pharmacists, or 'someone else') were generally the most positive in their responses. This included a noticeably more positive response to the survey question relating to whether patients felt it was 'the right person' treating them (84 per cent for doctors, 75 per cent for nurses and pharmacists).
1.12 Many people who get support for everyday living receive this outside of formal services - 43 per cent indicated that their help did not come from formal services.
1.13 Of those who received formal help and support, 81 per cent rated the overall help, care or support services as either excellent or good. This is a decrease from 84 per cent in 2013/14.
1.14 As in the last survey, users of care services were most positive about some person-centred aspects of care. Ninety per cent reported that they were treated with respect.
1.15 Users of care services were least positive about coordination of health and care services. Seventy five per cent reported that services were well coordinated, which is a decrease of four percentage points from 2013/14.
1.16 There was considerable variation across Scotland in experiences of care services, especially around co-ordination of health and care services and awareness of the help, care and support options that are available.
1.17 The survey indicated that 15 per cent of respondents look after or provide regular help or support to others.
1.18 Carers were most positive about having a good balance between caring and other activities, with around two thirds agreeing.
1.19 Carers were least positive about the impact of caring on their health; 35 per cent of people indicated that caring had a negative impact on their health and wellbeing.
1.20 Just over 40 per cent of people felt that services were well co-ordinated and that they felt supported to continue caring.