GP surgeries ‘among best in the country’

Patients in Northumberland have praised their experience of GP surgeries.
Patients in Northumberland have praised their experience of GP surgeries.

Patients in Northumberland have praised their experience of GP surgeries, with overall experience rated as some of the best in England.

More than 10,000 people in the county took part in the NHS England 2018 GP Patient Survey, which compiled responses from more than 760,000 people across the country on their experience of healthcare services.

This year the survey was extended to capture the opinions of 16 to 17-year-olds.

It asked patients about a range of issues related to their local GP surgery and other local NHS services. including how easy or difficult it is for patients to make an appointment at their surgery, satisfaction with opening hours and the quality of services when GP practices are closed.

In the survey, 87 per cent of people in Northumberland rated their experiences as good – higher than the national average of 84 per cent. It showed that more people are finding it easy to make an appointment at their practice than in other areas of the country.

Patients also highlighted that they find it easy to access services or look for information online, with 83 per cent of people rating their GP practice’s website as easy or very easy to use, compared to the national average of 78 per cent.

Services across the county also rated highly in recognising the mental health needs of patients. Ninety per cent of those surveyed felt that their needs had been understood, compared to 87 per cent across the rest of the country.

There are 42 GP practices in Northumberland, covering a population of 322,000.

Dr David Shovlin, clinical director for NHS Northumberland CCG, said: “We are really pleased with the results of the survey, and would like to thank everyone who took the time to share their views.

“These results demonstrate the exceptionally high quality of care provided by our local practices, and help to illustrate their commitment to ensuring that patients have a positive experience of primary care.