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Patients value relationship with GP over access

By Gareth Iacobucci

Patients value the quality of their relationship with their GP more than accessibility of appointments, according to new research.

The study by the King's Fund found that confidence and trust in the GP was the most important factor in explaining the variation in overall patient satisfaction, ahead of length of wait in surgeries, length of time waiting after appointment times and ability to get through to surgeries on the phone.

The research, published in the Journal of Health Services Research and Policy, used national patient survey data to identify factors that may drive patients' choice of practice.

One of the authors of the research was Professor Julian Le Grand, former health policy advisor to Tony Blair and a prominent advocate of extending patient choice in the NHS.

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