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July 2021

Patient satisfaction with general practice high

Despite the pressures of the last 18 months, and reports that patients were unable to see their GP or GPN face-to-face, the latest GP satisfaction survey shows that the majority of patients are satisfied with their GP practice.

The percentage of those who had a good overall experience with their practice improved from 82% in 2020, to 83% in July 2021. Almost all, 96%, said they had confidence and trust in the healthcare professional they saw, and 94% said their needs were met at their last appointment.

Although practices have faced harsh criticism over access and even accusations of ‘being closed’ during the pandemic, 85% of patients were offered an appointment at their GP practice, compared with 47% who were offered a phone consultation.* Three per cent were offered an online appointment, compared with less than 0.5% in 2020.

Most patients were able to speak to a healthcare professional at a time they wanted or sooner, and 60% of those who wanted a same day appointment got one.

The majority of patients said the healthcare professional they saw was good at:

  • Listening to them (89%)
  • Giving them enough time (89%)
  • Treating them with care and concern (88%)

The survey, conducted by Ipsos MORI Social Research Institute, also found that 93% of patients were involved as much as they wanted to be in decisions about their care and treatment.

The research reveals that 80% of the 850,000 respondents had needed an appointment in the last 12 months, but of these, 42% avoided making an appointment: 20% because they were worried about the burden on the NHS, and 17% because of the risk of catching COVID-19.

*Percentages may not add to 100 as patients may have had more than one type of appointment

GP Patient Survey; July 2021

Practice Nurse 2021;51(6):6