Survey reveals GP delays31st July 2008
A poll by the Healthcare Commission has found many patients say they are still waiting too long to see their GP.
However, it also said that levels of satisfaction with the care offered are high from a poll of more than 69,000 people across England.
The findings did show a quarter of patients waited longer than the official target of two days for an appointment to see their GP, a further 25% said surgery hours were inconvenient and 55% had problems in getting through by phone.
Young people were also put off visiting their GP because practice opening times did not suit their lifestyle.
However, once they saw the GP three quarters of patients said their problem was dealt with "completely" to their satisfaction and 93% were treated with "respect and dignity". Most said they were given enough time to talk about their problem.
Commission chief executive Anna Walker said: "The survey shows the high regard that many patients have for the services at their GP surgeries. However, people clearly do want to be able to see a GP more easily and at more convenient times.
"It was striking that some people could not get an appointment within two days and that there are variations around the country."
The BMA GPs' Committee said that it was pleasing to see the high overall satisfaction with GP services.
GPs and the government have been locked in a row over opening times in recent months, though the Department of Health said it had spent £250m to improve access to GPs.
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Title: Survey reveals GP delays
Author: Chris May
Article Id: 7758
Date Added: 31st Jul 2008