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Quality of primary care in general practice

Quality of primary care in general practice: Patient satisfaction with quality of care remains steady as general practice battles continuing high demand: Responding to the 2023 GP Patient Survey, Ruth Rankine, director of primary care at the NHS Confederation, said:-

“Primary care is the bedrock of the NHS, and general practice the bedrock of primary care, and this survey shows it continues to go above and beyond for patients in the face of ever-increasing demand.

“Patients highly rate the level of care they are receiving from general practices and leaders will be pleased to see increased patient satisfaction with the duration of appointments along with being treated with care and concern by healthcare professionals. Four in five patients rated their care as good, which is up on the previous year.

“Levels of confidence and trust in clinical staff have remained stable, as has patients’ assessment of whether they felt listened to and had their needs met, showing that quality of care is holding steady despite the challenges general practice is experiencing.

“Despite 17% more appointments being delivered than pre-pandemic, and more delivered face to face, demand is continuing to outstrip capacity. With 77% of patients having sought an appointment in the past 6 months, and only 51% receiving an appointment at a time they wanted, it is clear that increased demand is resulting in a decrease in patient satisfaction around access.

“Without expansion of the workforce, which with the long-term workforce plan will happen – albeit slowly, there are limited actions that can be taken in the short-term to meet demand. This demonstrates the importance of at scale primary care provision, which is why we need commitment to Primary Care Networks beyond 23/24, as well as to ensure the continuation of evening and Saturday appointments.

“We also need to see investment in the primary care estate, as not only do many buildings require repair, but there will need to be a physical expansion of the estate in order to house the additional workforce and improve access.”

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