With the emergency response to the COVID-19 pandemic disrupting many patients’ access to GP services, the Patients Association investigated what patients felt about their GP’s premises, and whether they would be confident to return to them.
The results of the survey showed a high degree of confidence among patients about visiting GP premises in person, despite the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. Two thirds of patients reported feeling very (35%) or somewhat (31%) confident about making such a visit.
Measures such as having hand sanitiser and Perspex screens at reception would increase this confidence further, with relatively few patients concerned about them. They also confirmed that many patients had been offered remote consultations, and that phone calls were much more common than online appointments.
Rachel Power, Chief Executive of the Patients Association, commented: “These results show that patients are keen to visit their GP’s premises in person, and feel confident about doing so. They also show that remote consultations have worked well for some patients, but that real-world access to premises is essential for others. In reopening its primary care services, the NHS must ensure that the options for accessing GP premises meet the needs of all patients, and build on the strong confidence in visiting their GPs that patients continue to hold.”