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GP services in north Cumbria rated above the national average in GP Patient Survey

stethoscopeThe recent national survey of GP services has shown that 83% of people taking part in north Cumbria rated their overall experience as being good or very good, which is above the national average.

The GP Patient Survey is administered by Ipsos MORI on behalf of NHS England, and is an England-wide questionnaire that provides feedback about patients’ experiences of their GP practices.

The survey measures patients’ experiences across a range of topics, including overall experience of local GP services, making an appointment, general health, and when a patient’s GP practice is closed. The survey reflects the full primary care workforce including nurses, nurse practitioners, healthcare assistants and other roles such as clinical pharmacists, community paramedics and physiotherapists which are becoming more routine.

In north Cumbria 4,441 questionnaires were returned completed, and some of the key results included:

  • 83% of people rating their overall experience of their GP practice as good or very good
  • 91% finding the receptionist at the GP practice helpful
  • 67% finding it either fairly easy or very easy to get through to their GP practice on the phone
  • 81% finding it easy to use online services
  • 76% were satisfied with the appointment time they were offered
  • 88% feeling they were treated with care and concern by their healthcare professional
  • 89% felt their mental health needs were recognised and understood
  • 81% felt they were supported with managing long-term conditions, disabilities, or illnesses
  • 72% were happy with the amount of time it took to receive care or advice when their GP practice was closed

In all of the areas above, north Cumbria scored higher than the national average.

There were criticisms too – mainly around accessing appointments, often in areas where we know it has been hard to recruit GPs.

Dr Niall McGreevy, Clinical Director of Workington Primary Care Network & Chair of the General Practice Provider Collaborative said: “It’s encouraging to see that overall there seemed to be a positive response to the survey for practices in north Cumbria.

“We’re aware that there are still areas that are particularly challenging for us, and there have been lots of new and innovative ways of working introduced to try to overcome these.

“For example, historically there have been more GP vacancies in west Cumbria than in some other parts of the county, and this is an area that is now improving. Patients of practices in Workington are able to access Workington Primary Care Centre, which provides urgent same day appointments for all of the practices in Workington. A similar ‘same day’ service has been established in Copeland to improve access for patients in need of an urgent appointment. Both Workington and Copeland practices have set up visiting services, which mean that patients requiring home visits can get seen more quickly. These are some of the innovative ways in which practices are working together to ensure better access for patients despite the recruitment challenges.

“All practices are also offering phone and online video consultations, something which has been embedded during the Covid-19 pandemic and is increasing the range and opportunity for patients to access services more conveniently.”

The survey has been running since 2007 and presents results for all practices in England (where surveys have been completed and returned).

This year it was carried out before the covid-19 pandemic.

All Practices in north Cumbria are now triaging requests for appointments and offering telephone and video consultations were appropriate ahead of face to face consultations. All practices require patients to wear a face covering if asked to come in for a face to face appointment.

For more information about the survey please visit https://gp-patient.co.uk/

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