A survey of more than a million patients over a three-year period revealed a high degree of satisfaction with general practice.
Dr Hamish Meldrum, chairman of the British Medical Association's (BMA) GPs' Committee, welcomed the results of an independent survey – the Improving Practice Questionnaire IPQ – which contains the views of 1.2 million patients over the three years 2004-07.
He said: "More than eight out of 10 patients rate their overall satisfaction with their visit to the practice this year as either excellent (48.7%) or very good (32.3%). In 21 out of 27 subject areas, patients say things have improved and no areas show a drop in satisfaction with general practice. Satisfaction with opening hours and appointment times has shown a notable improvement in the past year. This is down to the hard work of GPs and their practice teams.
"The IPQ patient survey is officially approved as part of the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) of the new GP contract. Unlike the hugely expensive government survey sent to patients earlier this year, with loaded questions about opening times, this survey is unbiased and reliable. It tells us that, over the three-year period, practices are responding to patients and offering them excellent access to first-class healthcare. It's good news for family doctors and great news for patients."