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Four in ten patients feel their GP practice building is a ‘poor environment’

Four in ten patients feel their GP practice is a poor environment that makes them anxious or stressed, according to a survey.

The report by the Patients Association said GP surgeries are often old, dilapidated and cramped, and require investment and expansion.

It also identified poor confidentiality at reception desks, issues with access for disabled people and dated waiting rooms as some of the biggest bugbears for patients.

The report said: ‘While it was clear from this project how highly patients value the NHS, it was also clear that the buildings that house general practice in particular are often old and in need of serious investment and expansion based on the feedback from the participants of this survey.

‘If current pressures on the GP workforce are not resolved, at least some care will have to be provided in very different ways in the future, and buildings will be an integral part of that.’

Patients Association chief executive Rachel Power said: ‘Funding should primarily go into improving standards of care – and patients agree that this should be the case – but it should not be ignored that many buildings housing general practice are often old and in need of serious investment.’

A review of GP premises by NHS England, the Department of Health and Social Care and the BMA’s GP Committee is due to report in the coming weeks.