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'Patient Experience' warning

Over half of people sent the controversial Patient Experience Survey will have to respond for it to be an accurate measure of GP performance, experts say.

Professor Angela Coulter, chief executive of the Picker Institute, said any lower response would risk accentuating negative views: 'You have to be careful that you are not getting all the disgruntled patients and none of the satisfied ones.'

The Patient Experience Survey is being sent to five million patients at a cost of £12 million. It will determine up to £8,000 of pay for GPs in an average practice for the access directed enhanced service.

The GPC has said the survey is discredited because of questions on GP opening hours inserted by the Department of Health.

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