The great majority of patients say their general practice is good in terms of both their care and experience of making appointments, and most are happy with their surgery’s opening hours, according to a survey published today. But far fewer of those polled rated their experience of out-of-hours care as good, and almost a third of those with a long-term condition said they need more help from local services.
The 2011-12 Patient Survey, which the Department of Health commissioned from Ipsos-MORI, covers July-September 2011 and January-March 2012. Combined results for the two periods showed that:
- 88% of patients rate their overall experience of their GP practice as good
- 79% of patients rate their overall experience of making an appointment as good
- 93% of patients have at least some level of confidence and trust in the last GP they saw
- 81% of patients are satisfied with their surgery opening hours.
However, only 71% of those questioned said that their experience of out-of-hours services was good – and 14% described it as poor. At least ‘some level of confidence and trust’ in out-of-hours clinicians was expressed by 82% of patients.
The survey also investigated the views and experiences of people with long-term conditions. Although 93% of these patients said they feel confident in managing their own health, and 90% rated their overall experience of their GP surgery as good, not even two-thirds (64%) said that they have enough support from local services to help them to manage their long-term condition.
In addition, more than half (59%) of those with a long-term condition reported some form of pain and discomfort, and 14% had some problems with self care; for patients without a long-term condition, comparative figures were 17% and 0.5%.
Pcicture Credit: Julian Claxton Photography, Wellcome Images