This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

pul jul aug2020 cover 80x101px
Read the latest issue online

Independents' Day

Patient survey supports move to boost online GP services, says minister

Almost a third of patients would like to book a GP appointment online, but only 3% are currently able to, the results of the national GP Patient survey show.

The DH said the annual survey of patient opinion supports their move to increase online services in GP practices.

Carried out on the DH’s behalf by Ipsos Mori, the survey showed the majority of respondents - 87.6%- said their overall experience of their GP practice was good.

This figure is 0.7 percentage points lower than the results for 2011/12, though the DH warned changes made to the survey this year made the data incomparable.

The survey found that almost all patients trust their GP; 92.8% of patients reported a level of confidence and trust in the last GP they saw, though this figures drops to 81.8% for out-of-hours clinicians.

While 80.5% of patients were happy with opening hours, many patients would like to see these extended.

Some 71% said opening on a Saturday would make it easier for them to see someone, 69% said the same for opening after 6:30pm, and about a third of respondents agreed access before 8am or on a Sunday would make life easier.

Commenting on the results of the survey, health minister Earl Howe said the survey results provided evidence that the Government was pursuing the right policies.

He said: ‘Making sure care given to patients with long-term conditions is world class is vital. This is precisely why we have proposed changes to the GP contract to make sure GPs think more about long term, integrated care for these patients.

He added: ‘More patients say they want to book their GP appointment online. That’s why in our Mandate to the NHS we are clear that everyone will be able to book their GP appointments, order a repeat prescription and talk to their GP practice online by 2015. This will help people better manage their health and care.’

Readers' comments (5)

  • Tosh!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Remind me what percentage of the population would vote for Earl Howes party if their was an elction tomorrow.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Let common sense prevail

    92.8% trust their GP. 13% trust their MP.


    So how come the politicians are dictating how we best serve our patients??????????

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • already given up hope NI GP

    Wants and Needs..... Wants and Needs............will someone explain the difference to these people.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It is not unreasonable for patients to ask for online booking, if they can already book themselves on a flight to China via the web. Or do their grocery shopping. Both examples involve more complex processes than accessing the GP surgery appointment system.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

Have your say