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Despite pressures survey reveals overall patient satisfaction with Suffolk's GP practices

People across east and west Suffolk have again reported a high level of satisfaction with their local GP practice, according to the latest independent national annual GP Patient survey data.

The results of the IPSOS Mori/NHS England survey show that overall, GP practices in the NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk CCG (IESCCG) and NHS West Suffolk CCG (WSCCG) areas are performing better than the national average.

Patients were asked to rate their experiences of using their GP practice including how easy it was to contact the surgery, the helpfulness of receptionists, satisfaction with the type of appointment and recognition of mental health needs. The results are based on 2971 completed questionnaires for the WSCCG area and 4956 for the IESCCG area.

Results include:
Overall experience of your GP surgery  - Very good/good – IESCCG 86%, WSCCG 86%, national average 83%

How easy is it to get through to surgery by ‘phone? – Easy – IESCCG 77%, WSCCG 76%, national average 68%

How helpful were the receptionists? – Helpful – IESCCG 92%, WSCGG 93%, national average 89%

Were you satisfied with the type of appointment you were offered? – Yes – IESCCG 80%, WSCCG 79%, national average 74%

How would you describe your experience of making an appointment? – Very good/good – IESCCG 74%, WSCCG 73%, national average 67%

Did you feel that your healthcare professional recognised and/or understood any mental health needs that you might have had?- Yes – IESCCG 88%, WSCCG 89%, national average 86%

Dr Mark Shenton, a GP in Stowmarket and Chairman of NHS Ipswich and East Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “Despite the continued pressures being faced by GP practices it is really pleasing that Suffolk’s primary care services are still delivering a good service and exceeding the national average on levels of patient satisfaction.

“This survey isn’t just about patient satisfaction with their doctor, and healthcare staff including receptionists and nurses are all rated highly for the care and support they provide.  I would like to thank staff for all the great work they do.”

Dr Christopher Browning, a GP in Long Melford and Chairman of NHS West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “While we should be rightly proud of these results it is important to stress the difficulties faced by primary care in meeting the rising demand for services and the very real issues in the recruitment of staff.

“We certainly want to retain this high level of satisfaction and to help achieve that I would ask everyone to consider the other health care options available, such as advice from their local pharmacy or self-caring at home.  We are all likely to need to see a primary care health professional at some point in our lives, but my making the right choice in where to go for help and advice will help your GP practice best meet people’s needs.”

The full GP Patient Survey results can be viewed HERE

Healthwatch Suffolk report

Last month our partners at Healthwatch Suffolk published a really insightful report on people's experiences of visiting their GP practice - read the report HERE

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