Just one in 10 patients registered with England’s lowest-rated GP practices are happy with their care, a damning analysis reveals today.
MailOnline processed data from the 2023 edition of the NHS GP Patient Survey, which assessed the performance of over 6,400 surgeries in the country. Hundreds of thousands of patients were asked to rate how they did in their practice.
Nationally, satisfaction plummeted to a record low, fueled by the dating crisis that frustrated Britons into giving up trying to see their doctor altogether.
Only seven in 10 patients rated their practice as ‘fairly good’ or ‘very good’.
However, our audit revealed that the figure stood at just 11 per cent in the lowest ranked surgery, Medicus Select Care CCG for Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes.
The survey shows that Medicus Select Care CCG for Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes ranked lowest. The practice offers health care services to those who have been taken off the list of their surgery. This can happen after several written warnings for their behavior or immediately if they have been violent.
The practice offers health care services to those who have been taken off the list of their surgery. This can happen after several written warnings for their behavior or immediately if they have been violent.
Just 17 per cent of patients at Green Porch Medical Center in Sittingbourne, Kent, rated their care as ‘good’.
Practices in Birmingham, Blackpool and Essex also featured in the top 10.
Only a handful of patients completed the survey at some practices, so the numbers may not paint an accurate picture of performance for each surgery.
Overall, 71 per cent of respondents rated their GP’s practice as ‘good’.
However, this is the lowest number since the survey began in 2017, when 85 percent were satisfied with the performance of their surgery.
The survey results show that Britons had problems accessing care.
While nearly nine in 10 respondents have tried to make an appointment in the past year, half said they avoided doing so.
Three in 10 said this was because it was too difficult for them, while 15 per cent said it was because they did not want to overburden the NHS.
Only a third of those who called their GP were offered a choice when their appointment was, while less than one in 10 (seven per cent) were asked which health professional they would prefer to see.
Dennis Reed of Silver Voices, which campaigns for the elderly, told MailOnline: ‘Silver Voices have been warning about this postcode lottery for some time.
‘Some practices, particularly in deprived or isolated areas, have so few GPs that it is impossible to provide a comprehensive primary care service.
“The NHS must take steps to ensure quality access to GPs, whether in inner London or deeper in Cornwall.”
Dr Kristian Niemietz, head of political economy at the Institute for Economic Affairs think tank, told MailOnline that low-ranking practices are part of a people trend. they are increasingly using these surveys ‘to express their frustrations with the NHS’.
Overall, 71 per cent of respondents rated their GP’s practice as ‘good’. However, this is the lowest number since the survey began in 2017, when 85 percent were satisfied with the performance of their surgery.
In 2021, 7.6 per cent of those who couldn’t get a GP appointment said they went to the ER, which is about 282,000 people. But by 2023 that number had risen to 12.2 percent, or 696,000 people, an increase of 146 percent.
He added: ‘For example, according to the latest British Social Attitude Survey, net satisfaction with the NHS has fallen to its lowest level ever recorded.
“The reverence for the NHS clashes with the reality of underachievement and heavy rationing.”
The survey results also show that more patients are turning to crowded A&E for basic care after finding it increasingly difficult to get an appointment with their GP.
In 2021, 7.6 per cent of those who couldn’t get a GP appointment said they went to the ER, which is about 282,000 people.
But by 2023 that number had risen to 12.2 percent, or 696,000 people, an increase of 146 percent.
Worryingly, almost one in three people (32.8 per cent) did not end up talking to a medical professional about their problems after failing to get an appointment with their GP.
Only one in six patients (16.4 percent) “always or almost always” are able to see their preferred family doctor, and 19.3 percent say their GP is “never or almost never” able to see them.
It comes despite studies showing that continuity of care improves health outcomes, increases the odds that patients will take prescribed drugs, and reduces the risk of death.
Ministers have quietly scrapped a promise to hire 6,000 more GPs, which was an important part of Boris Johnson’s election-winning manifesto.
The latest GP workforce data for May 2023 shows that there are 27,200 fully qualified GPs in England. This is down from 27,627 a year earlier. GP numbers peaked at 29,537 in March 2016
The proportion of GP appointments in England that took place face to face in May was 69.8 per cent. This is down from 70 percent in April, which was the highest number on record since the pandemic.
The latest GP appointment data shows that less than half of patients who scheduled an appointment actually saw a doctor (47.7 per cent). Instead, half of the patients (49.9 percent) saw another health professional, such as a nurse.
Only 2,000 more family doctors have been hired since 2019.
But the number of fully qualified GPs, who work the full-time equivalent of 37.5 hours on average per week, has dropped to around 27,300, the data shows.
Analysts believe another 7,400 are still needed to fill the gaps.
Many retire at 50, move abroad or go to work in the private sector due to increasing demand, red tape and aggressive media coverage on the NHS.
About one in four GPs, who earn up to £100,000 a year, according to the BMA, now work part-time.
At the same time, the population has also grown, exacerbating the problem.
It means that millions of patients are rushed through, in scenes compared to ‘goods on a factory conveyor belt’.
Some have described it as impossible to watch a GP, with the “8am scramble” described as the rush to get Glastonbury tickets.
What the GP said, in response to the findings
A spokesperson for the Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board told MailOnline: ‘Compass Medical Practice is a Special Allowance Scheme provider, providing a service for patients who have been removed from their current list of GPs due to incidents in their practices which have required police involvement.
“This can mean they have abused practice staff and, in some more extreme cases, committed acts of violence or been in possession of weapons.
“This is a group of around 250 vulnerable patients, often with complex medical and social needs, of whom only 22 patients completed the survey.”
A spokesman for the NHS Lincolnshire Integrated Care Board told MailOnline: ‘The ICB takes note of the findings of the recent GP Patient Survey.
‘Lakeside Healthcare Stamford has made good progress in addressing a number of challenges in recent months and, together with the ICB, they are committed to ensuring that patient care and experience continue to improve.
“Significant resources and expertise have been mobilized within the ICB to ensure the practice can take advantage of recent improvements and deliver high-quality care to all patients.”
MailOnline reached out to others for comment.