GP patients ‘unhappy’

PUBLISHED: 13:00 06 July 2015




A THIRD of patients in North Somerset say they cannot get a GP appointment when they need one, according to the results of a new health survey.

Healthwatch North Somerset has been running a detailed study of patients’ views on the performance of their doctors, surgeries and staff.

The overall assessment is broadly positive, with four out of every five respondents happy with the care they receive – although difficulty securing appointments is a concern and a frustration for many.

The survey says: “We know from extensive public feedback that for local people their most important and valued health and social care service is the primary care service provided by GPs.

“GPs are the first point of contact for most patients for their general NHS healthcare needs.

“Our hope is that the residents of North Somerset, PPG representatives and the North Somerset Health Community take on board the experiences and views expressed and work towards resolving the issues that created difficulties for patients.”

Some of the key positives identified in the report include the fact that 70 per cent of people rate their GP surgery as either excellent or good, and 77 per cent scored the doctors equally highly.

However, 39 per cent say when they call their surgery they are on hold for up to five minutes, or ‘often have to hang up, or get disconnected, or timed out’.

Some 35 per cent said they ‘cannot get an appointment when they need it’, while 28 per cent said they avoid certain GPs at their surgery for reasons including ‘rudeness’ and being ‘dismissive’ of concerns. 40 per cent say their appointments are usually in excess of 15 minutes late, with only one per cent saying their appointments are always on time.

The study says: “Common themes arising from the comments included the difficulty in getting an appointment when required, not always being able to see their chosen GP, lack of continuity arising from not seeing the same GP each time, and appointment times being too short/feeling rushed during appointments.

“Respondents are generally unhappy with the speed at which they can get an appointment with their GP.

“Having made an appointment, respondents were asked about the length of wait in the waiting room when they attended the appointment; were they seen promptly? These results indicate that the majority have to wait beyond their appointment time once they get to the surgery.

“Reasons for the appointments running behind schedule are numerous and varied and might be caused by the patient, the GP, systems errors, or a combination of both.”

More from Weston Mercury

Yesterday, 22:36

Weston’s dreams of pulling off an FA Cup shock and making the second round were dashed as Wrexham claimed a 2-0 win at the Woodspring Stadium on Sunday.

Read more
Yesterday, 19:00

A pair of Weston sisters have raised more than £200 for charity.

Read more
Yesterday, 18:26

There are delays on the M5 tonight (Monday) after a crash involving two cars between Clevedon and Weston-super-Mare.

Read more
Yesterday, 17:00

Plans to build a further 67 houses in a tourist village have been given the green light.

Read more
Yesterday, 16:03

Rubbish collections were delayed by ‘mindless vandals’ after a tyre-slashing rampage took place in Weston-super-Mare at the weekend.

Read more
Yesterday, 15:00

Two friends from school have opened up a new business in Weston-super-Mare.

Read more
Yesterday, 14:20

Villagers are concerned more than 60 trees could be cut down to build six homes in Winscombe.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

A fun fundraising week saw students look back over years of show business.

Read more
Yesterday, 10:00

Weston Lions Club members picked up their bin bags and litter-pickers and took to Kewstoke last week.

Read more
Yesterday, 09:29

Weston’s coastguard and RNLI crews were called, mid-way through yesterday’s (Sunday’s) remembrance service, to rescue a kite-surfer who was in trouble.

Read more

Most Read News

Read Online

Read the Weston Worle and Somerset Mercury e-edition E-edition

Local Weather

Sunshine and Showers

Sunshine and Showers

max temp: 14°C

min temp: 9°C

Useful Links

Advertise in the paper
Submit a Story
Subscribe to the paper
Send Your Letters
Order Photos
Family notices
Reader Travel

Family Notices 24

Newsletter Sign Up

Weston Mercury twice-weekly newsletter
Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Our Privacy Policy

Show Job Lists