This is a first annual report of responses to the primary care patient experience survey. It focuses on what priorities for improvement come from the results.
Results are set out at a national level with reference to inter-PHO (primary health organisation) variation; variation between different ethnic, age and patient groups; and by inter-practice variation.
Inside GP surgeries more than 85 percent of respondents felt waits were acceptable. There were even more positive results for respect, kindness and suchlike. However, there were some issues around continuity and coordination of care, such as quick follow-up of important issues and full awareness of medical history.
Communication around medication was an area for improvement. Perhaps reflecting this, 8 percent of respondents believed they had been dispensed a wrong drug or dose in the previous year.
Interactions between primary care and other parts of the health sector present a mixed picture. Care plans for people with long-term conditions are inconsistently available and the flow of information between primary care and hospital seems to be an area for improvement. That said, duplication of test ordering appears rare and results are generally in the right place at the right time.
In terms of the domains of experience, partnership – that is, patients’ involvement in their own care – appears the weakest area. This reflects the availability and follow-up of care plans for patients with long-term conditions.
The cost barrier and coordination domains show marked ethnic disparities with, in most cases, the European group reporting better experiences than all others. However, in the other domains of quality, ethnic disparities are less stark.
Younger age groups routinely report less positive experiences, with a marked gradient as the population improves. However, people of all working age groups report less positive experiences than people in retirement age groups.
People who have a mental health diagnosis report worse experiences of care throughout the survey. In particular, those reporting three separate mental health diagnoses report a markedly worse experience.