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GP Patient Survey 2014

Aggregated data for January to March 2014 & July to September 2014

NHS England together with Ipsos MORI, have today published the latest Official Statistics from the GP Patient Survey. The survey provides information on patients’ overall experience of primary care services and their overall experience of accessing these services.

The latest survey consisted of 2.64 million postal questionnaires sent out to adults registered with GP practices in England across two separate waves, from January to March 2014 and again from July to September 2014. A total of 881,183 patients completed and returned a questionnaire, resulting in a response rate of 33.4%.

The results are based on aggregated data from the two most recent waves of the survey in order to create a sufficiently large sample size to publish statistically robust results at GP practice level. Results are also published at national, Area Team and Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) level.

The 2014 results are comparable to the corresponding aggregated results for 2013 (published in December 2013) and aggregated results for 2012 (published in December 2012).

Summary of national headline results

The latest results for out-of-hours GP services are indicative of a small general improvement in positive overall patient experience, specifically between the results for 2013 and 2014.

Conversely, whilst the majority of patients continue to feel that they have a good experience of in-hours GP services, the latest results show a reduction in the proportion of patients who say their overall experiences are positive.

A national summary of the weighted results is provided below. However a more detailed breakdown of the results is available at

Overall experience

  • Most patients (85.2%) rate their overall experience of their GP surgery as good, a decrease of 1.0 percentage point since the results published in December 2013 and 2.4 percentage points since December 2012.
  • Nearly three in four patients (73.8%) rate their overall experience of making an appointment as good, a decrease of 1.6 percentage points since the results published in December 2013 and 4.0 percentage points since December 2012.
  • More than two in three patients who have tried to call an out-of-hours GP service in the last 6 months (67.9%) rate their overall experience of out-of-hours GP services as good, an increase of 0.4 percentage points since the results published in December 2013 however an overall decrease of 2.9 percentage points since December 2012.

GP services

  • Almost four in five patients (78.0%) would recommend their GP surgery to someone new who just moved into their local area, a decrease of 1.2 percentage points since the results in December 2013 and 3.0 percentage points since December 2012.
  • The majority of patients (85.4%) got an appointment to see or speak to someone at their surgery when they last tried, a decrease of 0.7 percentage points since the results published in December 2013 and 1.5 percentage points since December 2012.
  • More than seven out of ten patients (71.8%) say it is easy to get through to their GP surgery using the phone, a decrease of 2.1 percentage points since the results published in December 2013 and 4.8 percentage points since December 2012.
  • More than nine out of ten patients who were able to get an appointment the last time they tried (91.8%) say their appointment was convenient, a decrease of 0.4 percentage points since the results published in December 2013 and 1.1 percentage points since December 2012.
  • The majority of patients (86.9%) find the receptionists at their GP surgery helpful, a decrease of 0.7 percentage points since the results published in December 2013 and 1.6 percentage points since December 2012.
  • Almost two thirds of patients (65.2%) say they wait 15 minutes or less after their appointment time to be seen, a decrease of 1.1 percentage points since the results published in December 2013 and 2.3 percentage points since December 2012.
  • Over half of all patients (53.5%) have a GP they prefer to see, a decrease of 1.7 percentage points since the results published in December 2013 and 2.6 percentage points since December 2012.
  • Of patients with a preferred GP, 60.1% always or almost always see them, a decrease of 1.6 percentage points since the results published in December 2013 and 4.0 percentage points since December 2012.
  • The majority of patients (92.2%) have confidence and trust in the last GP they saw, a decrease of 0.3 percentage points since the results published in December 2013 and 0.5 percentage points since December 2012.

Surgery opening hours

  • Three in four patients (75.7%) say they are satisfied with their GP surgery opening hours, a decrease of 2.9 percentage points since the results published in December 2013 and 4.8 percentage points since December 2012.
  • Similarly, nearly three in four patients (73.8%) say their GP surgery is open at times that are convenient for them, a decrease of 2.1 percentage points since December 2013 and 3.6 per percentage points since December 2012.

Booking appointments

  • Most patients (76.3%), when they try to book an appointment, want to see a GP at their surgery.
  • The majority of patients want to see or speak someone on the same day (41.0%) or a few days later (23.7%).
  • The most common method of booking appointments is by phone (88.4%), while the second most common method is in person (29.3%). Comparably, very few patients (5.2%) normally book appointments online. However, the proportion of patients booking online has increased by 2.0 percentage points since the results published in December 2012.

Online services

The survey was amended in 2014 to incorporate questions to assess online GP services. The following results are based on data collected across a single wave of fieldwork, from July to September 2014. As this is the first time the results have been published there are no comparisons to make from previous publications.

  • Over a quarter of patients are aware that they can order repeat prescriptions online (27.1%), while a similar proportion are aware they can book appointments online (25.9%). There is less of an awareness of being able to access medical records online (just 2.0% of patients saying this). One in ten patients (10.7%) say none of these services are available and over half of all patients (53.4%) are unsure whether any of these services are available at their practice.
  • The most likely online service to be used by patients is ordering repeat prescriptions, with 9.8% of patients saying they have done this in the last six months. Fewer patients (6.1%) have used online booking facilities and very few have accessed their medical records online (0.2%) in the last 6 months.

Out-of-hours GP services

Of those patients who tried to call an out-of-hours GP service in the last 6 months:

  • Three in four patients (75.8%) say it was easy to contact the out-of-hours GP service by phone, a decrease of 0.5 percentage points since the results published in December 2013 and 3.8 percentage points since December 2012.
  • Three in five patients (60.5%) say that the time it took to receive care from the out-of-hours GP service was about right, an increase of 0.9 percentage points since the results published in December 2013 however an overall decrease of 2.5 percentage points since December 2012.
  • Four in five patients (80.1%) say they have confidence and trust in the out-of-hours clinician, an increase of 0.3 percentage points since the results published in December 2013 however an overall decrease of 1.7 percentage points since December 2012.

Managing your health

  • The majority of patients (92.5%) are confident in managing their own health.
  • Over half of all patients (54.0%) have one or more long standing health condition
  • Of those patients with a long standing health condition, 63.7% say they received enough support from local services or organisations in the last six months to help them manage their condition, a decrease of 0.3 percentage points since December 2013 and 0.4 percentage points since December 2012.

Your state of health today

  • The majority of patients say they have no problems with self-care (90.6%), mobility (75.9%) and/or usual activities (73.8%). However, a notable proportion of patients have problems with anxiety or depression (where 31.7% suffer from problems ranging from slight to extreme) and nearly half of all patients (48.2%) have problems with pain or discomfort, ranging from slight to extreme.
  • More than one in six patients (17.4%) state their activities were limited due to recent illness or injury, a decrease of 0.7 percentage points since the December 2012.

Planning your care

  • A small proportion of patients (3.1%) say they have a written care plan, while 93.5% say they do not have a written care plan and 3.3% say they do not know.
  • Of patients who say they have a written care plan: 72.0% say they are involved in setting goals for themselves or choosing how they want to manage their own health; 70.9% say they use their written care plan to manage their day-to-day health; and 60.5% say that a GP, nurse or other health professional regularly reviews their written care plan with them.

Dentistry results

  • Results for questions in the GP Patient Survey relating to NHS dental services forms part of NHS England’s dental statistics.

Supporting documentation

Categories: GP Patient SurveyStatistics

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