Patients satisfied with GP surgeries

PATIENTS in Cambridgeshire have an above-average satisfaction rate with their GP surgeries, according to the largest ever patient survey, carried out by the Department of Health and published yesterday. Over two million patients throughout England respon

PATIENTS in Cambridgeshire have an above-average satisfaction rate with their GP surgeries, according to the largest ever patient survey, carried out by the Department of Health and published yesterday.

Over two million patients throughout England responded to a postal questionnaire asking about access to GP services.

Patients were also asked for their views on their practice's opening hours.

The survey was carried out after patients complained that the Government's dictum that GP patients must be seen within 48 hours had led to doctors refusing to offer advance appointments, forcing people to queue in surgeries.


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The survey found that within Cambridgeshire the satisfaction rate beat national figures. However, there was also a proportion of people in Cambridgeshire - 27 per cent - who said that doctors' surgeries were not open for long enough in the evening and almost half the respondents - 47 per cent - wanted them to open on Saturdays.

According to the survey for Cambridgeshire:

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* 91 per cent of Cambridgeshire people who tried to get a quick appointment with a GP said they were able to do so within 48 hours

* 79 per cent of people in Cambridgeshire who wanted to book ahead for an appointment with a doctor reported that they were able to do so.

* 90 per cent of Cambridgeshire people who wanted an appointment with a particular doctor at their GP surgery thought they could do this.

Guy Watkins, chief executive of the Cambridgeshire Local Medical Committee, said: "These fantastic results come as no surprise to Cambridgeshire general practitioners who work hard to provide patients with the best care they can when the practice is open, and listen every day to the needs of their patients.

"Clearly, any desire to change or extend opening hours must take care of the needs of the satisfied majority, and any extension of opening hours would require the Government to invest more in general practice as well as all the other services required to support safe modern medicine in the surgery. This is unlikely at a time when NHS resources are already stretched.

"Indeed, GPs, while of course welcoming this high level of satisfaction, regret that the Government decided to spend about £11 million on this survey."

* Does the survey reflect your findings when using GP surgeries in Cambridgeshire? Send you views to editor@huntspost.co.uk or to The Hunts Post, 30 High Street, Huntingdon PE29 3TB.

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