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Managers, not GPs, must carry can for poor feedback

From Dr David Bush, Wolverhampton

We are starting to get patient feedback from the Friends and Family Test. Unsurprisingly, it echoes earlier feedback from our Patient Participation Group, complaints to the practice manager, negative comments on NHS Choices and casual conversation with our patients.

The recurring theme is that it is too hard to get an appointment with a GP, and the wait for a routine consultation is excessive.

These are, of course, disappointing comments but I have to agree with them. But rather than to take such feedback personally and accept that it is due to our poor management of our practices. It is time that we, as GPs, stopped taking ownership of systemic failures.

GPs should instead turn this around and say to NHS England, with one concerted voice: ‘Look at these results. These are indicators of your poor performance. Many years of under-investment in primary care has reduced the service you provide to patients to a dangerous level.

‘Your performance rating is “unacceptable” and we suggest that you take remedial action promptly.’