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More than 8 out of every 10 patients questioned rated as ‘good’ their experience of their GP practice on the Isle of Wight.

GP practices on the Island in general received higher approval ratings from patients than the national average in answers to a number of questions.

The findings are contained in the latest GP Patients Survey undertaken by Ipsos/MORI during January – March 2018.

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Nearly 760,000 people were interviewed nationally – with 1,806 responses (47%) to the 3,832 questionnaires sent out in the Island.

Some 84% of respondents rated their overall experience of their GP practice as good – with just 6% saying it was poor; both figures are the same as the national average. (The other 10% of respondents recorded a ‘neither good nor poor.’)

Most respondents recorded high satisfaction with specific services including the helpfulness of the receptionists, the ease of finding information on their practice website, the type of appointment they were offered and the appointment time offered to them.

The scores for ease in getting through to the practice on the phone were not as high – with more than one in four patients not finding this easy – but the Island still performed above many other areas in the country, with 72% satisfaction against the 70% average recorded by other clinical commissioning groups (CCGs).

Some headline results

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  • Helpfulness of receptionist – around 9 in 10 patients said their GP receptionist were helpful – 91% on the Island, just above the national average (90%)
  • Ease of using practice website – More than 7 in 10 Island respondents (73%) found it easy to use their GP practice website – but this was 5% below the national average, and there is less awareness of online services on the Island than nationally
  • Overall experience of making an appointment – 69% of Islanders rated this as good or very good, and 16% as poor – with the others undecided. The national figures were 69% and 15%
  • Type of appointment offered – 77% of respondents were happy and accepted their appointment, 18% were unhappy but still took the appointment and 5% were unsatisfied and declined the appointment offered – again improved on the national averages of 74%, 20% and 6%
  • Satisfaction with the appointment times available – 65% were satisfied (66% nationally), with 17% dissatisfied. The other recipients were undecided
  • Mental health needs recognised and understood – again there was encouraging news with 90% of Island people recording satisfaction with their healthcare professional compared with 87% nationally.

Dr Timothy Whelan, a GP in Newport and the deputy clinical lead for the NHS Isle of Wight CCG, said:

“Patient satisfaction levels are generally high, and the smaller and medium-sized practices tend to perform especially well. The challenge is obviously to work to improve on these ratings when many practices are short of GPs and nurses.

“In particular, we could encourage Islanders to make more use of their practices’ online services, where they can book appointments and request repeat prescriptions.

“We know that as a nation we are living longer, often with more complex medical problems, and that our GP practices are facing more demand for their services than ever.  There are particular difficulties with staff recruitment and retention – so there are pressures which will diminish our patients’ perceptions of our performance.

“In summary, this survey tells us that people are generally satisfied with the services they receive from their local practices, and we are grateful for this support. However, we do need to use the findings to look at areas where we could be doing better.”

Full background information and CCG data for the 2018 GP Patient Survey data publications can be accessed here.

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