CREDIT: This story was first seen in the Petersfield Herald
An average of 44% of patients feel they are waiting too long to be seen by a doctor, according to an NHS survey of the three GP surgeries serving the Whitehill and Bordon area, the Petersfield Herald reports.
This compared to an average of 46%, at the three surgeries, who believed they did not have to wait too long to see a GP. The remaining 10% did not express an opinion.
Pinehill Surgery, in Pinehill Road, Bordon, provided the most satisfaction, with 58% of patients surveyed there saying they did not normally have to wait too long to be seen.
But more than a third, 36%, felt they had to wait a bit too long (28%) or far too long (eight per cent).
Next best was the joint Forest and Badgerswood Surgery, with the Forest Surgery in Whitehill’s Forest Road and the Badgerswood Surgery in Mill Lane, Headley.
But even here more patients felt they had to to wait too long (44%) than were satisfied with waiting times (41%). A total 16% felt they had to wait far too long.
But at the Riverside Partnership – in Liss but treating some former Woolmer Surgery patients following the surgery’s closure last year – 51% of patients felt they were waiting too long, with 15% feeling it was far too long. A total 40% felt they did not have to wait too long.
According to the survey, nationally 34% of people felt they had to wait too long to be seen (nine per cent said it was far too long), with 58% saying they normally did not have to wait too long.
The average for the South East Hampshire area was: 35% feeling they had to wait too long (for nine per cent it was far too long) and 55% feeling they did not have to wait too long.
Across the South East Hampshire area, 96% of patients surveyed had “confidence and trust” in their doctor, according to the NHS. The survey results were published in the 2017 national GP Patient Survey, and cover the 20 practices in the South Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group area, which runs from Bordon down to Hayling Island.
According to the NHS, the survey showed that patients generally had “a good experience” visiting their local surgery, including “convenient appointments” and “helpful receptionists”.
The Clinical Commissioning Group’s area was generally in line with national averages, although there were lower scores for getting through on the phone and waiting times.
From January to March, working on behalf of NHS England, Ipsos MORI sent out more than 7,500 survey forms, of which around half were returned.
The survey measured patients’ experience across five themes – making appointments, waiting times, perceptions of care, practice opening hours and out-of-hours services.
For Pinehill Surgery, 71% of respondents usually wait 15 minutes or less after their appointment time to be seen, beating the South Eastern Hampshire area average of 58% and the national 64%.
Also 93% of respondents say the last nurse they dealt with was good at explaining tests and treatments.
But just 50% of respondents would recommend the surgery to someone new to the area – below the national 77% average.
Also, only 44% of respondents usually get to see or speak to their preferred GP – less than the 67% SE Hampshire average.
The practice also scored only 67% satisfaction when it came to GPs giving patients enough time – the national average is 86%. A total 118 participants returned surveys.
At the Forest and Badgerswood Surgery, 86% of respondents find it easy to get through to this surgery by phone, with 90 per cent saying the last GP they saw or spoke to was good at involving them in decisions about their care.
Most (83%) of respondents would recommend this surgery to someone new.
But only 44% of respondents usually wait 15 minutes or less after their appointment time to be seen – the national average coming in at 64%.
A total 79% of people said the receptionists were helpful. For this surgery, 131 participants returned surveys.
At the Riverside Partnership, 83% of respondents usually get to see or speak to their preferred GP; 83% described their experience of making an appointment as good, and 85% find it easy to get through to this surgery by phone.
But just 40% of respondents usually wait 15 minutes or less after their appointment time to be seen, below the national average of 64%. A total 108 participants returned surveys.
Dr Barbara Rushton, who chairs the South Eastern Hampshire Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “This survey shows people have great confidence in their doctors and nurses at their local surgeries, so I would like to thank all the staff who work in general practice for their efforts on behalf of their patients.”
GP provision in Whitehill and Bordon has been affected by a national shortage of doctors.
This was highlighted with 2016’s closure of Woolmer Surgery, a branch of the Riverside Practice at Liss, which saw its last patients on September 30 last year.
The surgery had been operating on reduced opening hours for most of the year because of problems with doctor recruitment. Two GPs left in the space of five months and attempts to replace them proved unsuccessful.
It is hoped that a new town health campus, set to be delivered by 2019, will provide a primary-care centre with GPs, specialist nurses, therapists, hospital consultants and pharmacists, with access to advice seven days a week.