Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Review of GP services - the patient experience

Hastings and Eastbourne web pictures ENGSUS00120120629112956
Hastings and Eastbourne web pictures ENGSUS00120120629112956
More than half the people interviewed for a review of GP services in Luton said they could not get an appointment when they needed one, while a third had difficulty getting through to the surgery on the phone.

The review was conducted by Healthwatch Luton, supported by volunteers and local organisations.

They completed 962 patient surveys while Healthwatch staff visited and assessed all 39 doctor surgeries in the town.

The results also showed that 26 practices do not have easy access for wheelchair users and 28 do not have a hearing loop system in place.

Only four were judged to have sufficient privacy in the reception area and all but seven kept patients waiting more than 15 minutes after their appointment time.

On the plus side, a significant 88 percent said staff were helpful and understanding and 89 percent had confidence and trust in their doctor.

More than 90 percent said that, overall, they were happy with the quality of care, service and treatment they received although only 80 percent would recommend their surgery to other people.

Healthwatch Luton boss Beth Gregson said: “It shows the importance of identifying and understanding what good patient satisfaction looks like.

“We recognise the increasing pressures and demands on surgeries. However we will continue to struggle to attract quality staff if we cannot narrow the gap between the best rated and the worst.”

Healthwatch Luton manager Nisar Mohammed said: “We have identified a total of 680 recommendations across the board and many of these have already been implemented.

“We hope the results of this review will encourage local people to become actively involved in representing the patient voice within their local surgery.”

The organisation has created individual reports and recommendations for each GP surgery, together with timescales for implementation and a response from the surgery.

> For a copy of individual and overall surgery reports, call 01582 817060 or access them online at

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