Nearly two thirds of people in Wakefield are satisfied with their experience of booking a doctor’s appointment.
A total of 65 per cent rated the process of arranging to see their GP as ‘good’, though that has fallen from 68 per cent in 2017, figures from Wakefield Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) revealed.
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Across the UK, patients appear to be growing increasingly frustrated with booking appointments, with the satisfaction rating falling by four percentage points from last year.
A total of 11 GP surgeries in the Wakefield district have been told to improve satisfaction levels with the process.
Ash Grove, Eastmoor Health Centre, Henry Moore Clinic, Kings Medical Practice, Maybush Medical Centre, Outwood Park Medical Centre, Pinfold (Elizabeth Court Surgery), Prospect Surgery, Riverside Medical Centre, The Grange and White Rose Surgery must all deliver an action plan on the issue.
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A report to the CCG’s probity committee said: “Within the Wakefield district 65 per cent of respondents have said that they had a good experience of making an appointment, compared to 69 per cent nationally.
“This was a fall of three per cent from the previous year 68 per cent compared to a four per cent fall nationally (73 per cent), so while showing a fall from last year, the CCG’s fall was comparable with the fall nationally.”
However, Wakefield did perform better than the UK average in some respects. Most people in the district said they found it easy to get information of their local surgery’s website, while doctors were also praised for their understanding of patients’ mental health needs.
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Dr Greg Connor, medical advisor to Wakefield CCG, said the organisation wanted “the best possible care” for every patient in the district.
He said: “General Practice is facing significant pressure and the survey shows how patients appreciate the fantastic work of GPs and the wider primary care workforce locally.
“On all measures, the best performing practices in Wakefield did better than the best performing practices in neighbouring CCG areas.
“We therefore know that we have some of the best practices in the region, but we also have some practices who are struggling.
“The CCG has already started working with practices that have the lowest satisfaction levels and is supporting them to improve.
“This work, alongside the new local contract we have negotiated with our practices, and the support practices are offering to each other, is designed to bring all practices towards the level of the best.”
Percentage of Wakefield patients who rate their experience of booking a GP appointment as ‘good’ (2017/2018) – 65%
Percentage of Wakefield patients who rate their experience of booking a GP appointment as ‘good’ (2016/2017) – 68%
Number of GP practices in Wakefield told to improve patient experience – 11
Percentage of patients who feel it is “easy” to use GP websites to access information – 83% (UK average – 78 %)
Proportion of patients who felt their healthcare professional understood any mental health needs they may have had – 89% (UK average – 87%)