Northumberland GP surgeries amongst the best in England

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

The results of the 2018 GP Patient Survey have been published by NHS England, compiling responses from more than 760,000 people across the country on their experience of healthcare services, with almost 5,000 people from Northumberland taking part. The survey has also been extended in 2018 to capture the opinions of 16 – 17 year olds for the first time.

The survey asks patients about a range of issues related to their local GP surgery and other local NHS services. This includes questions about 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% of people in Northumberland have rated their experiences as ‘good’ – higher than the national average of 84% – and it showed that more people are finding it easy to make an appointment at their practice than in other areas of the country.

In Morpeth, 100% of patients at Scots Gap Medical Group rated the reception staff as helpful. This alongside other high performance ratings has resulted in the practice being ranked as the best in the North East and 15th nationally.

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

Services across the county also rated highly in recognising the mental health needs of patients. 90% of those surveyed felt that their needs had been understood, compared to 87% of patients across the rest of the country.

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

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.”

The GP Patient Survey data publications can be found at: https://gp-patient.co.uk/

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