Access to GP services

Good access to general practice is an important element of the quality of care. The GP Patient Survey gives patients the opportunity to comment on their experience of their GP practice and other local NHS services, including access to services.

How easy did patients find it to get through to someone at the GP surgery on the phone?

The majority of respondents to the GP patient survey have said they found it easy to get through to someone at their GP surgery on the phone although ease of access has shown a decline from a peak of 78% in 2011/12 to 70% in 2015/16. This means that over a quarter of patients still find it difficult to get through on the phone.

Updated August 2016.

How long after contacting the surgery did patients actually see or speak to a GP or nurse?

After contacting the surgery around half of patients said that they saw someone on the same or next working day (49% in 2013/14 and 48% in 2015/16). In both years a sizeable number of patients also said that it took them more than a week to see someone (16% in 2013/14 and 19% in 2015/16).

Updated August 2016.

How convenient did patients find the appointment they were able to get?

Despite a sizeable portion of patients not being able to see someone at their GP surgery within a week, 92% of patients have found their appointment convenient since 2012/13.

Updated August 2016.

Are GPs open at times that are convenient and are patients satisfied with this?

The percentage of patients who said that the opening hours of their surgery were convenient for them was 75% in 2015/16 and 76% of patients were satisfied with their GP surgery opening hours. Since 2011/12 there has been a decline in these results.

Updated August 2016.

How did patients describe their overall experience of making an appointment?

Overall, the majority of patients describe their experience of making an appointment as positive, but this is showing a downward trend over the time periods that the question has been surveyed (79% in 2011/12 to 73% in 2015/16).

Updated August 2016.

About this data

The percentages are weighted and error bars in the charts presented here represent +/- 95% confidence intervals.

The earlier data points report financial year data. Since, 2013/14 the data points represent responses to questionnaires sent in two waves, from July to September and January to March and therefore these data points do not represent a full financial year. In 2013/14 there is possibly a slight overlap with 2012/13 data, making them not fully comparable to the other data points in the series.

The number of respondents to the GP patient survey has decreased year on year. For more information, including technical methodology please see the NHS England, GP Patient Survey.

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