PATIENT satisfaction across Bradford's GP surgeries is falling below local NHS targets, new figures have revealed.

Localised findings from an independent survey for NHS England carried out by social research institute Ipsos Mori show many patients across the city and districts who sent back their questionnaires are less than satisfied with their GP practice.

The patient experience surveys were sent out and gathered between January and March this year and topics covered making appointments, waiting times, opening hours and out-of-hour services.

However, the survey publishers do stress response numbers are significant to the results.

There were 10,259 questionnaires sent out to patients registered at the 27 surgeries that come under Bradford City Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), 1,960 responses were returned.

Out of those surgeries, patient experience satisfaction performances at 21 of them dropped below the CCG's goal average of 76 per cent.

The lowest performing practice in that group was The Grange Medical Centre in Horton Grange Road which scored just 50 per cent patient satisfaction while the highest scoring surgery was Farrow Medical Centre in Otley Road with 94 per cent.

In all, City CCG was rated as good for its 74 per cent satisfaction performance, the national average is 85 per cent. Bradford District's CCG score was higher at 81 per cent.

The District CCG surgeries seemed to have fared better but more people responded to the survey. Out of 12,256 questionnaires sent out to its patients, 4,260 came back completed.

Thornbury Medical Practice's patient experience satisfaction performance was rated at 47 per cent while Wibsey & Queensbury Medical Practice was top of that CCG's league with 97 per cent - the CCG's target average was 85 per cent. There were 22 out of 39 surgeries performing below that average.

Meanwhile 12 out of 16 GP surgeries under Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG surpassed its 85 per cent performance target, the CCG itself scored 87 per cent satisfaction among the patients who took time to fill out the 15-page survey, 46 per cent of them did.

Ilkley & Wharfedale Medical Practice achieved 97 per cent, the lowest at 51 per cent was North Street Medical Practice in Keighley.

A spokesperson for NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven, NHS Bradford City and NHS Bradford Districts Clinical Commissioning Groups said: “We want a patient’s experience with their GP to be as positive as possible. It’s important that everyone have access to the right service at the right time, with the confidence that they’re getting the best help and advice available.

“Improving patients’ experience of primary care services is a priority for us. We are committed to continuing to look at ways to improve local GP services, including longer opening hours on weekdays and weekends; and supporting the development of enhanced primary care services."

The spokesman added the variations between practices reflected the national challenges faced by GPs, such as increasing demand on services, the complexity of patients’ health needs and workforce issues.

“A lot of work is under way to support practices to improve patients’ access and there is a real willingness to share good practice and listen to patients and GPs about the concerns and challenges experienced in General Practice," he added.

In a bid to manage demand on their services, practices are  holding awareness events to give advice on self-care, healthy eating, exercise and managing long term conditions.

New roles are also being developed in primary care such as community connectors, care coordinators and personal support navigators that help people with their health and social needs.

“For easier access to appointments, patients have been encouraged to register with patient online services and we will continue to raise awareness of this service. In most practices, as part of a triage system, patients are assessed to ensure that those needing an appointment are offered one in a timely way," said the spokesman.

The NHS England Patient Satisfaction survey is just one way of finding out partients' opinions. Results from the Friends and Family Test in May 2017 show that people in NHS Bradford Districts and NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven would recommend their surgery to their friends and families, with 88 per cent and 89 per cent respectively, against a national average of 89 per cent. NHS Bradford City CCG was slightly lower at 86 per cent but  this is a higher score when compared against similar CCGs, such as Slough at 83 per cent, North Kirklees at 84 per cent and Tower Hamlets at 85 per cent.



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