3. The GP Practice
Contacting the GP Practice
The survey asked respondents when they had last contacted the GP practice named on the survey letter. Fewer respondents (77%) had contacted the named GP practice in the last twelve months than in 2019/20 (86%).
For those who had contacted their GP practice in the last twelve months, fewer patients contacted their GP practice on multiple occasions compared to previous years, with an increase in the percentage of patients contacting their practice on only one occasion, from 17% in 2019/20 to 22% in 2021/20.
This increase in patients contacting their GP practice only once may be related to the sharp drop in percentage of people finding it easy to contact their GP practice in the way that they want. Three quarters of respondents (75%) found it easy to contact the GP practice in the way that they want compared to 85% in the 2019/20 survey. Conversely, the proportion of people who found it not easy to contact their GP Practice in the way that they want increased from 15% to 25%,
Respondents were asked how they would rate the quality of the information provided by the receptionist at their GP practice.
"Receptionists are helpful and give advice on the situation at the surgery."
Just over two thirds of people (67%) rated the quality of information positively ('Excellent' or 'Good'). This is a decrease of 10% compared with 2019/20 when 76% of respondents rated quality of information provided by the receptionist positively.
"Feel receptionists could be more compassionate and understanding when you ask to see a doctor face to face."
Access to Appointments
Respondents were asked how long they had to wait the last time they needed to see or speak to a doctor or a nurse from their GP practice quite urgently. Of those who had needed to see or speak to a doctor / nurse, 85% were able to do so within two working days. This is similar to 2019/20 (86%).
"Appointment availability more days in advance. At the moment have to call first thing in the morning to try and get an appointment and lines are always busy."
"I do not understand why a routine appointment cannot be made well in advance."
Respondents were asked whether the appointment they got was face to face at the GP practice or via phone or video call or a home visit. The majority (57%) of respondents had a telephone appointment (11% in 2019/20), with just 37% of respondents having a face-to-face appointment (87% in 2019/20). The number receiving home visits or video calls remained low (1% and 2% respectively). Similarly, only 2% of people reported having an email or instant message consultation.
"Be good to have face to face appointments rather than phone calls."
"Excellent service. Particularly appreciate being able to access health care via email, video and phone rather than waiting for a face-to-face."
"At the moment you cannot request a face to face appointment, you must in the first instance book a telephone appointment."
Overall Arrangements to See a Healthcare Professional
Respondents were asked to rate the arrangements for getting to see various healthcare professionals in their GP practice. The most positive arrangements were those to see a Pharmacist/Chemist (79%), whilst the least positive arrangements were those for getting to see a Mental Health Professional (44%). Overall arrangements were rated similarly to 2019/20.
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