Results of the latest national GP survey published yesterday (6 July) show that patients in East Lancashire and Blackburn with Darwen are on average happy with their overall experience of their GP practice.
The GP Patient Survey which is carried out independently by Ipsos MORI for NHS England every year is designed to give patients the opportunity to feed back about their experiences of their GP surgery. The survey asks patients about their experiences of their GP surgery and other local NHS services. The survey includes questions about a range of issues, such as how easy or difficult it is to make an appointment at the surgery, satisfaction with opening hours, the quality of care received from your GP and practice nurses, amongst other things.
Dr Phil Huxley, a GP in Earby and Chair at NHS East Lancashire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “Primary care is the cornerstone of the NHS. Approximately 90% of patient contact with the NHS contact is with local GPs who provide a vital, frontline service for patients.
“These are really positive and encouraging results and I would like to thank all of our GP colleagues across the two CCG areas for their hard work particularly given the increasing demand on their practices and the pressure they experience as GPs.
“The CCG is committed to investing directly in supporting primary care and having listened to our member GPs we have invested almost £2.5million over the last three years, to support patients with non-medical community support provided by over 400 community groups across East Lancashire. This has given patients another source of support, and in turn has contributed to easing the demand on GP services.
“Whilst we are glad that our patients are telling us that they are very happy with certain aspects of their GP service, we are committed to improving our GP services even further and finding out what isn’t working as well and how we can make things better for patients.”
The results indicate that on the majority of levels overall satisfaction is high and better than the national average when compared with other areas. For example, in Blackburn with Darwen 71% of patients found it easy to get through to someone at their GP surgery on the phone compared to 68% nationally. In East Lancashire, 78% of patients were satisfied with the hours their GP surgery was open compared to 76% nationally.
Darwen GP and Clinical Chief Officer at NHS Blackburn with Darwen CCG, Dr Chris Clayton, said: “The CCGs both work very closely with their respective member GP practices and do support them to work more collaboratively with other GP colleagues. Not only do we support the practices by helping improve their workforce, we have expanded our training programme for all members of GP staff and reduced the level of bureaucracy by improving our reporting system which does help to increase the time available to patients.
“In addition, through our local agreements the CCG is continuing to invest an additional £2m locally in order to improve quality and access to GP services.”
The full results for each of the CCGs can be accessed on the GP Patient Survey website at: