Cookie policy notice

By continuing to use this site you agree to our cookies policy below:
Since 26 May 2011, the law now states that cookies on websites can ony be used with your specific consent. Cookies allow us to ensure that you enjoy the best browsing experience.

This site is intended for health professionals only

At the heart of general practice since 1960

Almost one in ten patients 'never' get to see their preferred GP

The latest GP Patient Survey has revealed that the number of patients who regularly get to see their preferred GP continues to decline. 

NHS England’s ‘GP Patient Survey – National summary report’, carried out by Ipsos MORI, found that nearly half of patients (49.2%) have a GP they prefer to see – while just over a third (35.3%) ‘always or almost always’ get to see this GP. This figure has fallen from 41.9% in July 2012 and from 36.7% in July 2015.

The survey also found that only 8.3% of patients ‘never or almost never’ get to see their preferred GP.

Other findings included one in four patients – 26% – saying that it was not easy to get through to someone at the GP surgery on the phone.

It also revealed that 19.3% of patients who were able to get an appointment saw or spoke to someone a week or more later – 0.8% up on July 2015 (18.5%).

Overall, patient satisfaction levels practically mirror last year’s figures. Some 85.2% of patients described the overall experience of their GP surgery as ‘good’ – 0.4% higher than the 2014-15 results.

The GP Patient Survey 2016 compiled responses from more than 800,000 people across the country on their experience of healthcare services provided by GP surgeries, including access to GP surgeries, making appointments, the quality of care received from GPs and practice nurses, satisfaction with opening hours and out-of-hours NHS services.

NHS England conceded there were ‘areas for improvement’ with fewer patients reporting that they can usually see their preferred GP, and a reduction in the number of patients with one or more long-standing health conditions saying they had enough support from local services or organisations.

NHS England director of primary care, Dr Arvind Madan, said: ‘The GP Patient Survey shows patients appreciate the fantastic job GPs and the wider primary care work force are doing in challenging times.

’The findings also reinforce the case for investing in and strengthening primary care, exactly as we are now doing.’

Readers' comments (13)

  • "NHS England conceded there were ‘areas for improvement’ with fewer patients reporting that they can usually see their preferred GP"

    This is what happens when you alienate the profession to the point numbers are decreasing and work load increasing. Perhaps the 'areas for improvement' lies within NHSE strategy??

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I very rarely get to see the patients I prefer either

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I never get to go to the holiday destination I want to go either

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 'Preferred GP' is a choice / luxury ....not a need.
    If govt can't afford it then either there is no choice or patients fund their choice ...simple

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The patients preferred GP prefers to work part-time and therefore is not available.

    Once payment per consultation gets introduced, the patients preferred GP will automatically become available to their patients no matter how hard it may be for the GP.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Diddums! People are lucky to see any gp at all!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Fund it properly then doh.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Harry Longman

    Patient survey data is of little practical use as it hides a great variation in performance, and doesn't even hint at what to do to change said measures. So a few of the practices in there will be ones we have helped, where it becomes the norm to be in contact with your own GP (yes, even a choice of GP) within minutes, not days, and it costs the same. To all the knee jerk Pulse comment crowd, just saying.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The 'Family' in the 'Family Doctor' is a long gone concept. With technology heralding in a new era of Skype consultations and the government promoting 'cheaper' personnel to replace GPs, it's not going to get any better. No offence intended to the ancillary staff replacing GPs but the fact is that patients may not get to see their GP even once a year in the near future or the idea of having an own GP will become obsolete with passage of time.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • You dont get the consultant of your choice at £150 a go so what do people expect at £134 a year for GPs.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 results per page20 results per page

Have your say