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Same day appointments reduce patient satisfaction

Offering patients same-day appointments reduces patient satisfaction, according to a new analysis in the September issue British Journal of General Practice.

Researchers surveyed 12,825 patients in 47 practices across 12 PCTs. They found that increasing the proportion of same-day appointments available by 10% reduced the proportion of patients who described themselves as satisfied with the access arrangements by 8%. The inverse relationship was more pronounced in older patients.

The research group, led by Professor Chris Salisbury from the University of Bristol, concluded: ‘The findings support previous concerns that the benefits of increasing same-day GP appointments for some groups of patients may be outweighed by the difficulties in booking appointments in advance experienced by other groups of patients.'

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