High levels of satisfaction with local GP practices

People across east and west Suffolk have reported a high level of satisfaction with their local GP practice, according to the latest independent national GP Patient survey data.

The results of the IPSOS Mori/NHS England survey show that overall, GP practices in the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk and NHS West Suffolk clinical commissioning group areas are performing better than the national average.

Patients were asked to rate their experiences of using their GP practice including how easy it was to contact the surgery, the helpfulness of receptionists, satisfaction with the type of appointment and confidence in their GP. Results include:

Overall experience of your GP surgery –Very good/good – IESCCG 86%, WSCCG 86%, national average 84%

How easy is it to get through to surgery by ‘phone? – Easy – IESCCG 79%, WSCCG 77%, national average 70%

How helpful were the receptionists? – Helpful – IESCCG 91%, WSCGG 91%, national average 90%

Were you satisfied with the type of appointment you were offered? – Yes – IESCCG 80%, WSCCG 78%, national average 70%

How would you describe your experience of making an appointment? – Very good/good – IESCCG 76%, WSCCG 74%, national average 69%

Did you have confidence or trust in the GP you saw or spoke to? Yes – IESCCG 96%, WSCCG 97%, national average 96%

Dr Mark Shenton, a GP in Stowmarket and Chairman of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “These results are really pleasing and show that, despite the many challenges facing primary care, GPs and practice staff are delivering high quality services.

“This annual survey is important as it helps ensure local people have confidence in their GP practice. It’s also a good opportunity to recognise the many dedicated and hardworking NHS staff members who, every day, help people with their physical and mental wellbeing. Healthcare staff including receptionists, nurses and GPs are all rated highly for the level of care and support they provide.”

Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and Chairman of NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “For many people the GP practice is their first point of contact for medical help and advice. Across west Suffolk our GP practice staff work to ensure their patients receive the best level of service as possible, starting from when making an appointment online or by telephone, the welcome they receive when they arrive at the surgery to the care delivered by the GP or nurse.

“While we can all be proud of these results, there’s no denying that we must recognise the continued difficulties we face in the recruitment and retention of staff and the rising demand for primary care services.”

Dr Paul Driscoll, Medical Director of Suffolk GP Federation, said: “Given the well-publicised pressures on Suffolk general practice these results are excellent. They reflect all the hard work our GPs, nurses and practice staff do on a daily basis. It is very pleasing that this effort is recognised by our patients.”