13th Aug, 2020

Thumbs up for GPs: Doctors surgeries 'open for business'

Correspondent 27th Jul, 2020

FAMILY doctors are hoping the positive patient feedback revealed in a recent national survey will be repeated and further improve in the coming year.

The results of the 2020 GP Patient Survey were published earlier this month and showed that residents in both Worcestershire and Herefordshire generally had a more positive experience of their practice than those elsewhere in the country.

In all 87per cent of patients said their overall experience of primary care was good, which is above the national average of 82 per cent.

The survey, which was carried out by Ipsos MORI, took place from January – March 2020 and it is hoped that the new ways of working as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic, such as online consultations and bookings will improve patient access and satisfaction in the coming year.

All GP practices across Herefordshire and Worcestershire offer online access to services such as appointment booking, ordering repeat prescription, and accessing medical records, and all are now offering video and online consultations.

The survey found 48 per cent of patients are aware of how to book appointments online (in line with national average), and 49 per cent are aware of how to order repeat prescriptions online – five per cent higher than the national average.

Lynda Dando, director of NHS Herefordshire and Worcestershire clinical commissioning group, said: “This is yet again, another set of encouraging results for Herefordshire and Worcestershire practices, who should also be commended for their efforts in rapidly implementing alternative models of delivering services to patients since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“Since March, we have seen a significant increase in the number of patients accessing online and video consultations, and this is as a result of the remote total triage model that was nationally mandated.

“The CCG has also supported practices with adaptations to their premises in order to ensure that delivery of care for those requiring face to face appointments is safe.

“The general message is that GP practices are open, and the initial contact should be made by telephone or online, at which point the most appropriate appointment will be offered. We are all experiencing significant change in how we carry out our day to day activities, and General Practice is no different, so we would ask patients to bear in mind that some things may take longer than before, but this should not be a barrier to accessing healthcare services.”

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