A 'friendly' GP is top of the list in things patients look for when choosing a surgery besides medical expertise, a survey suggests.
Research found the vast majority of patients are happy with their GP with 81% claiming they would stay with their current practice.
However, one in five patients (19%) said they would move practices "if they could" with 10% voicing a desire to move to a GP practice closer to where they work – good news for the government, which is planning to kick off practice boundary abolition pilots at the end of the month.
The poll of 2,000 patients showed the quest for a 'friendly' GP was placed ahead of a practice's extended opening hours (56%) and ease of appointment booking (51%) when choosing a practice.
The survey also revealed almost half of patients (49%) would take advantage of services enabling them to order repeat prescriptions online.
"This research is heartening news for GPs. As well as confirming the importance of the traditional GP-patient relationship, it shows strong demand from patients for newer online services," said Julian Harrison, Director of Pharmacy2U – commissioner of the research.
"Practices that respond to this demand will be well-placed to build patients' loyalty, by giving them the flexibility and convenience they expect in the 21st century, supported by a good relationship with their local GP."