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National Voices’ response to the GP Patient Survey results

Jacob Lant, Chief Executive of National Voices, responds to the GP Patient Survey results.

  • Primary care
  • Digital health and care

We know that GPs and all those within primary care are working harder than ever. Among those surveyed, 91% of people said their needs were met at their last appointment. Yet we know from our membership that access to care is an increasing concern, especially among those experiencing health inequalities. 

Half of respondents avoided making an appointment last year – 28% of respondents because it was too difficult, 10% because they didn’t have time and 15% because they didn’t want to burden the NHS.  

One third of respondents said GP websites are not easy to use, which is especially concerning as nationally we moved to an online GP booking system this month. 

These results show we must do better at offering care in a way that works for everyone and in communicating to people that GPs are here to help.  

The survey has demonstrated that continuity of care has continued to decline and 12 per cent of those who couldn’t get a GP appointment went to A&E instead. To prevent further decline, we must focus on getting the basics right, otherwise poor and inequitable access will exacerbate the health inequalities already seen in England and worsen the pressures on the acute system. 

To do this well we must listen to our communities and to people with lived experience to better understand what their needs are. 

We urge stakeholders to adopt all our calls laid out in our vision for the future of primary care so that patient experience is at the centre of all recovery plans to ensure primary care works for all, regardless of background.

Jacob Lant, Chief Executive, National Voices