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3,000 practices appeal as patient survey results reveal huge losses

By Pulse news desk

More than 3,000 practices are understood to have already lodged appeals against huge losses revealed today as the full results of the patient access survey in England were announced by the Government for the first time.

GP leaders expect more to follow, with millions of pounds predicted to be be lost by practices in total, sparking a huge backlash against the £8 million Ipsos MORI survey.

The findings published today reveal a mixed performance on the controversial questions tied to the two patient experience indicators in the QOF.

84% of those asked said they had been able to obtain a consultation within two working days, with 15% saying they could not and 1% saying they could not remember.

But only 76% off respondents said they had been able to book an appointment with a GP more than 2 days in advance, with 22% saying they could not.

GPC chair Dr Laurence Buckman said: 'We are pleased that the vast majority of patients are satisfied with the service they receive, however the headline figures hide a gross unfairness – thousands of surgeries losing funding based on the answers of a tiny proportion of their practice's population. In some cases the answers of fewer than a couple of dozen patients will have led to a practice losing thousands of pounds in resources.'

'Ironically this will make it harder for these surgeries to then improve their access, which is not going to benefit patients.'

One 14,000-patient practice in Carnforth, Lancashire stands to lose £10,000, after less than 1% of its patients answered the questions about 48 hour and advanced access.

Dr David Wrigley, one of the partners, said: 'If patients can't get an appointment with me because I'm on leave or at a different branch surgery they might perceive it's not good access even though they are always offered an appointment with another GP. The survey doesn't accommodate for this sort of thing and so by trying to provide more personal continuity of care we've ended up being penalised.'

Other results include:

  • 70% of patients reported that they were either very satisfied or fairly satisfied with their ability to get through to their doctor's surgery on the phone.
  • 77% of patients who wanted to book an appointment with a particular doctor at their GP surgery said they were able to do so all of the time or a lot of the time.
  • 82% of patients responded that they were either very satisfied or fairly satisfied with the hours their GP surgery was open.
  • 91% of patients reported that they were either very satisfied or fairly satisfied with the overall care they receive at their surgery.
  • 74% of people with a long-term condition said they have had a care planning discussion, 60% of people with a long-term condition say that they have agreed a care plan and 61% that their care has improved as a result of the care planning process.
  • 67% of patients say they would know how to contact an out-of-hours GP service if they needed to, when their surgery was closed.
  • 66% of patients rate the care they received from the out-of-hours service as good and 13% as poor.

Pulse has put together a Google map showing the action primary care organisations are taking over appeals, as they decide whether to compensate practices who can prove their patient survey results were ‘unduly skewed'.

  • Blue markers are for trusts where the process is under review.
  • Green markers are for trusts which have indicated plans to compensate practices whose results fell outside ‘tolerance levels' for statistical error.
  • Yellow markers are for trusts which are not planning to make payments to practices.

Google map of patient survey appeals

Pulse has put together a Google map showing the action primary care organisations are taking over appeals, as they decide whether to compensate practices who can prove their patient survey results were ‘unduly skewed'.

- Blue markers are for trusts where the process is under review.
- Green markers are for trusts which have indicated plans to compensate practices whose results fell outside ‘tolerance levels' for statistical error.
- Yellow markers are for trusts which are not planning to make payments to practices.


View PCT action on patient survey appeals in a larger map

The backlash begins: more than 3,000 practices have already lodged appeals The backlash begins: more than 3,000 practices have already lodged appeals

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