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Patients less pleased with GP phone access in all but one ICS

Patients in all but one integrated care system found it more difficult to contact their GP practice by phone this year compared to last year. 

GP patient survey data, published this month, showed the proportion of patients who found it “very” or “fairly easy” to get through by phone had fallen across almost every ICS by as much as seven percentage points. The measure fell nationally from 53 to 50%. 

The drop in performance comes as NHS England and the government ramp up focus on ease and speed of access to GPs as part of the primary care recovery plan, published in May.

An NHSE spokesperson said: ”Despite GP teams experiencing record demand for their services, with half a million more appointments delivered every week compared to before the pandemic, the GP survey found that the majority of patients have a good overall experience at their GP practice.

“However, the NHS recognises more action is needed to improve access for patients, which is why it published a recovery plan in May.”

Read full story (paywalled)

Source: HSJ, 31 July 2023


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