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96% patient trust in GPs, NHS England survey reveals

Patient confidence in GPs has remained high with nearly 96% of patients saying they trust their GP, according to the latest NHS England GP Patient Survey.

The annual survey, of nearly 760,000 patients across England, was re-designed for 2018 to reflect changes in primary care and now includes answers 16 and 17 year olds.

While the changes to the survey render the results not directly comparable year-on-year, the 2017 survey revealed that 92% of patients said they were confident in and trusted the last GP they saw.

This comes despite just half of patients say they are able to see their preferred GP 'always, almost always or a lot of the time'.

The survey also found that 94% of patients felt involved in decisions about their care and treatment, while 87% said they had been given enough time with their GP.

But of the 54% of patients who said they have a preferred GP, access was low with only 50% of these being able to see them 'always, almost always or a lot of the time'.

This comes after a study revealed that patients who see different GPs from visit to visit are more than twice as likely to be admitted to hospital.

The survey also found that:

  • 84% described the overall experience of their GP surgery as good
  • 69% of patients rated their overall experience of making an appointment as good
  • 66% of patients who wanted a same day appointment got one
  • 78% of patients who have tried to use their GP practice website found it easy to access information or services

BMA GP Committee chair Dr Richard Vautrey said: ‘That trust and confidence in GPs remain high is down to the strong direct relationship between doctors and patients, built up over many years of commitment, working in both smaller and larger practices but crucially always embedded in the local community. 

He added that patients being unable to see their preferred doctor ‘causes understandable frustration for both patients and GPs alike'.

NHS England acting director of primary care Dr Nikita Kanani, who is taking on the role following Dr Arvind Madan’s resignation earlier this week, said: ‘General practice is the foundation of the NHS and this survey shows patients appreciate the fantastic job GPs and the wider primary care work force are doing in times of real pressure, helping more people living with increasingly complex conditions.

She added that NHS England is 'already putting record funding into primary care after years of underinvestment, with an additional £2.4bn every year by 2020 to help drive improvements in care, including widening access with more GPs are in training than ever before'. 

Earlier this week the RCGP called for an urgent overhaul of the GP Forward View, including a further £2.5bn investment in general practice each year.

Readers' comments (10)

  • This is not because of NHSe,this is despite NHSE, who have had a vendetta against us.This is due to the front line troops flogging their gut out to serve the populace.Wait til 2020, no seniority,NHSE agenda of increasing our work load by trying to introduce digital first,the b'stard child of 111 in an app to increase access to a dwindling low moral workforce.On top of this trying to introduce 8-8,24 hrs a day with sub inflation rate increases in funding.Time to abandon the sinking ship if you are able to.

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  • 'Patient confidence in GPs has remained high with nearly 96% of patients saying they trust their GP'
    This is very bad news as it will motivate jealous politicians and journalists, who compete to have the lowest trust ratings, to bash us more.

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  • The only way things will improve is when the general public use their immense power to make the government listen and change.
    Our views are irrelevant-we are considered detritus.

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  • The NHSE / DOH powers-that-be must be completely dumbfounded as to what else they need to do to break the GPs so they quit the NHS (and can be blamed for it’s demise) and “do a dentist” rather than the politicians being held responsible for killing off the NHS. At least they’ve still got the RCGP on their side...

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  • AlanAlmond

    Were going to miss it when its gone. Oh how sweetly the rosey tinted spectacles of times past will shine on this.

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  • "record funding"- yes because of inflation the figure is higher than ever but less is reaching GP's who are taking persistent pay cuts, not including the slashing of pensions and other benefits"

    GP forward view- money that most GP's will never see it will just go to the political bootlickers for various "schemes" that just cause more work for a patients regular GP

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  • AlanAlmond

    Think this will remain the same once your average GP is some random stranger you saw on-line via a Romanian hosted CQC exempt video app? I doubt these levels of trust will survive the coming tsunami of 24/7 digital access.

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  • These levels of trust won't survive the culture shock of having to pay upfront (or similar). There will be an explosion of complaints (and the consequences of same).

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  • How misguided the pubic are : their trust is misplaced if they trust GPs to sort out the mess the NHS is now in! There is no way the disorganised, disunited, profession is going to fix this problem no matter how many politicians and plebs trust us to do it, sadly.

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  • Don’t want to sort,needs a root and branch change starting with copayment sand social insurance,and an adult debate on what the NHS should do.It cannot do everything with the current system.No change it will fail,it is now,decreasing longevity and high death rates.But no one seem bothered yet.The public need to wake up from their wealthare stae induce slumbers.

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