Fewer happy with Northumberland GP services

Patient satisfaction with family doctor services in Nortumberland has dropped to its lowest ever level, new figures show.

By Will Grimond
Thursday, 21st July 2022, 11:45 am
GP services survey.
GP services survey.

The annual survey by NHS England and market research company Ipsos Mori shows that, between January and April, over 700,000 people responded – including 4,059 in the Northumberland CCG area.

Of these, 81.3% of people in the area described their GP experience as ‘good’ – down from 87.5% in 2021.

The survey also found 28.3% of people with long-term health conditions do not feel they have had enough support from local services – up from 22.4% last year.

Beccy Baird, senior fellow at independent think tank the King’s Fund, said: “GPs are working harder than ever before, yet these findings show a dramatic fall in patients’ experience of getting an appointment.

“Many of the challenges stem from the chronic staff shortages. Practices can’t recruit enough GPs, nurses or other professionals to meet the rising levels of need."

The results also show 17.3% of respondents in the area had avoided booking a GP appointment because they did not want to burden the NHS, and 8.6% because they did not want to risk catching Covid-19.

Nationally, satisfaction was at its lowest level on record, with 72% of respondents describing their overall experience as ‘good’ – down from 83% last year.

An NHS spokeswoman said: "We are determined to make it easier to get an appointment, which is why the health service has invested record amounts in primary care, including increasing the number of phone lines practices have for patients".