Issues over GP appointments raised as doctors praised for ‘very good’ care of patients

PUBLISHED: 08:00 27 August 2019

Dr Martin Jones. Picture: CCG

Dr Martin Jones. Picture: CCG


GPs have been praised for the ‘very good’ care of patients, but concerns over staffing and obtaining appointments are also prevalent, according to a health survey.

The review conducted by Ipsos MORI, states eight out of 10 people living in the district described their experience at GP surgeries as good or very good.

More than 90 per cent of people said they had confidence and trust in the healthcare professional they met at their last appointment, while 95 per cent felt involved in decisions taken about their care and treatment.

An estimated 9,000 patients responded to the survey, which included questions on appointments, out of hours' services, online services and the overall experience.

Medical director at Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire (BNSSG) Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), Dr Martin Jones, praised staff.

He said: "This feedback is testament to the hard work put in by everyone in primary care, clinical and non-clinical, to deliver high-quality services for our population."

As the NHS moves to improve online services for patients, 75 per cent of respondents thought it was easy to look for information or access services on practice websites.

Chairman of Healthwatch North Somerset, Georgie Biggs, said the NHS is working towards making services easily accessible.

She said: "We understand that some GP practices face staffing and premises challenges.

"Generally, patients tell us that ease of access to appointments is their concern.

"This is being addressed with the use of new digital systems enabling those familiar with technology to more easily reach the GP for advice.

"The system has had good feedback from those who've been able to make use of it and patients have been satisfied with the service.

"For those without the necessary technical knowledge, we have been supporting patients with these new systems by providing digital drop-in sessions to help patients become more familiar with the new ways to access GPs.

"We are aware though that some may find these systems more difficult.

"There is a need to consider how we meet the needs of the more vulnerable patients especially those without the internet."

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