Only one in ten patients registered with England’s worst-rated GP practices are satisfied with their care, a damning analysis today shows.
MailOnline processed the data from the 2023 edition of the NHS GP Patient Survey, which assessed the performance of the country’s more than 6,400 surgeries. Hundreds of thousands of patients were asked to rate how their practice fared.
Nationally, satisfaction fell to an all-time low, fueled by the appointment crisis that frustrated Britons into giving up on their doctor altogether.
Only seven in ten patients rated their practice as ‘fairly good’ or ‘very good’.
However, our audit found that the figure was only 11 per cent in the lowest ranked operation, Medicus Select Care CCG for Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes.
The survey shows that Medicus Select Care CCG had the lowest rank for Bedfordshire, Luton and Milton Keynes. The practice provides healthcare to those who have been kicked off their surgery list. This can happen after several written warnings for their behavior or immediately if they have been violent
The practice provides healthcare to those who have been kicked off their surgery list. This can happen after several written warnings for their behavior or immediately if they have been violent.
Only 17 per cent of patients at Green Porch Medical Center in Sittingbourne, Kent, described their care as ‘good’.
Practices in Birmingham, Blackpool and Essex also made the top 10.
Only a handful of patients completed the survey in some practices, so the numbers may not accurately reflect the performance of each surgery.
In total, 71 percent of the respondents rated their GP practice as ‘good’.
However, this is the lowest figure since the survey began in 2017, when 85 percent were satisfied with the performance of their operation.
Survey results show that Britons struggled to access care.
While nearly nine in ten respondents tried to get an appointment in the past year, half said they avoided doing so.
Three in 10 said it was because they found it too difficult, while 15 per cent said it was because they didn’t want to burden the NHS.
Only a third of those who called their GP practice were given a choice of when their appointment was, while less than one in ten (seven per cent) were asked which healthcare provider they would most like to see.
Dennis Reed, of Silver Voices, which campaigns for the elderly, told MailOnline: ‘Silver Voices has been warning about this postcode lottery for some time now.
“Some practices, especially in underserved or isolated areas, have so few working GPs that it is impossible to provide comprehensive primary care.
“The NHS needs to take action to ensure good access to GPs, whether in central London or deep in Cornwall.”
Dr. Kristian Niemietz, head of political economy at the Institute of Economic Affairs think tank, told MailOnline that the low ranking practices are part of a trend of people are increasingly using these surveys ‘to express their frustrations with the NHS’.
In total, 71 percent of the respondents rated their GP practice as ‘good’. However, this is the lowest figure since the survey began in 2017 – when 85 percent were satisfied with the performance of their operation
In 2021, 7.6 percent of those who couldn’t get an appointment with their GP said they would go to the emergency room, equivalent to about 282,000 people. But by 2023, that figure had grown to 12.2 percent, or 696,000 people, up from 146 percent
He added: ‘According to the latest British Social Attitude Survey, net satisfaction with the NHS has fallen to the lowest level ever recorded.
“Reverence for the NHS collides with the reality of poor performance and heavy rationing.”
Research results also show that more patients are turning to overcrowded emergency rooms for basic care after finding it increasingly difficult to get a GP appointment.
In 2021, 7.6 percent of those who couldn’t get an appointment with their GP said they would go to the emergency room, equivalent to about 282,000 people.
But by 2023, that figure had grown to 12.2 percent, or 696,000 people, up from 146 percent.
Worryingly, nearly one in three people (32.8 percent) ultimately did not talk to a medical professional about their problems after failing to make an appointment with their GP.
Only one in six patients (16.4 percent) can see their preferred GP ‘always or almost always’, while 19.3 percent say their GP can ‘never or almost never’ see them.
It comes despite studies showing that continuity of care improves health outcomes, increases the likelihood that patients take their prescribed medications and reduces the risk of death.
Ministers have quietly rejected a pledge to employ an additional 6,000 GPs, which was a key part of Boris Johnson’s election-winning manifesto.
The latest GP workforce data for May 2023 shows there are 27,200 fully qualified GPs in England. This is a decrease from 27,627 a year earlier. The number of GPs peaked in March 2016 at 29,537
The proportion of GP appointments in England held face-to-face in May was 69.8 per cent. This is down from the 70 percent in April, the highest recorded since the pandemic
The most recent data on GP appointments shows that less than half of patients who booked a consultation actually saw a doctor (47.7 percent). Instead, half of the patients (49.9 percent) saw another healthcare provider, such as a nurse
Since 2019, only 2,000 additional GPs have been recruited.
But the number of fully qualified GPs, who work the full-time equivalent of an average of 37.5 hours a week, has shrunk to around 27,300, data shows.
Analysts think another 7,400 are needed to close gaps.
Many are retiring in their 50s, moving abroad or working in the private sector because of rising demand, paperwork and aggressive media coverage in 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 millions of patients are rushed through, in scenes that have been likened to “goods on a factory conveyor.”
Some have described the impossibility of seeing a GP, describing the ‘8am scramble’ as the rush to get hold of Glastonbury tickets.
What the GP practices said, in response to the findings
A spokesman for Lancashire and South Cumbria Integrated Care Board told MailOnline: ‘Compass Medical Practice is a special allocation scheme provider, providing a service to patients who have been removed from their current GP lists due to incidents in their practices that required the police.
“This may mean they have been abusive to exercise personnel, and in some more extreme cases committed acts of violence or possessed weapons.
“This is a group of about 250 vulnerable patients with often complex medical and social needs, of which 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 recent months in addressing a number of challenges and is committed to working with the ICB to ensure that patient care and experience continues to improve.
“Significant resources and expertise from within the ICB have been mobilized to ensure the practice can build on recent improvements and provide high quality care to all patients.”
MailOnline reached out to the others for comment.