People want their GPs back

A survey commissioned from YouGov has looked at people’s attitudes to their local GP. Commissioned by the Rebuild General Practice campaign the results gave clear messages. To be honest the messages would surprise no-one – except of course government and the Department of Health. It follows up nicely on t6he lead story in the September edition of The Leveller® “The Doctor Won’t See You Now”

The messages from the survey are:

  • Nine in ten value having a GP who can offer long-term support for their medical conditions (95%)
  • patients also value elements of general practice such as being listened to (97%) – so not five minue appointments
  • and being seen in a friendly environment (90%) – arguably not in portacabins
  • it is important that they see the same GP each time they visit their local surgery (56%)
  • patients (55%) would prefer to visit their GP for a minor ailment. As opposed to other primary and secondary
    care services like A&E (4%) or walk-in centres (18%).

The message from GPs is not surprising either. They say there is a crisis in general practice caused by lack of funding. Added to a failure to retain doctors in the profession. Which in turn leads to an inability to deliver the continuous, community-centred care patients want.

Responding to the results, Dr Justin Geddes Medical Director of the Somerset LMC commented: “We welcome this survey. General Practices in Somerset continue to adapt to overwhelming pressures every day to provide the very best service we can. We want to be able to give and receive the best care possible. We recognise the value we bring when we can do our job and want our doctors to be central to leading healthcare in our communities.”

Of those who said it was important to see the same doctor every time, 74% said this was because they didn’t need to explain their medical history each time. While 55% said they believed this would mean more accurate diagnoses. Oddly it appears that it is the patients, not NHS England, that recognise the efficiencies in that system.

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