84% content with GPs' hours24th July 2007
84% of patients are "satisfied" with the opening hours provided by their GP, according to a Department of Health survey of over 2m patients.
86% said they were able to make a quick appointment and 88% said they could see a specific doctor. Three-quarters of patients were able to book an appointment in advance.
The government is due to award GP practices which receive good reports approximately £11,700 in extra funds.
Health Secretary Alan Johnson described the additional funds as "a clear incentive" for those GPs with poor performance.
The survey indicated some variations in satisfaction levels depending on the ethnic background of the respondant. Bangladeshi patients showed the lowest satisfaction levels overall.
Mr Johnson said: "All patients in this country, no matter where they live or what their background, should enjoy first class primary care services."
He expressed his particular concern "about areas of deprivation." He said he wanted "more convenient" opening times and more GPs working in deprived areas.
Mr Johnson has assembled a team to support those primary care trusts and GP practices which have not performed well.
The British Medical Association (BMA) asked whether the survey was necessary, as it proved something that was already well known.
"Was it really a good use of scarce NHS money to spend upwards of £11m to prove it yet again?" asked Dr Laurence Buckman, chairman of the BMA's General Practitioners Committee.
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Title: 84% content with GPs' hours
Author: Jess Laurence
Article Id: 3556
Date Added: 24th Jul 2007