The results of this year’s national GP Patient Survey (GPPS) show high overall levels of patient satisfaction (80%) with Gloucestershire GP practices – well above the national (England) average of 71%.

The annual survey assesses patients’ experiences of healthcare services provided by GP practices across a range of topics, from confidence and trust in healthcare professionals, satisfaction with levels of care to ease of making appointments and suitability of appointment times.

In Gloucestershire, we have been focusing on providing more appointments for our population. Continuing high levels of demand have meant that practices have delivered more urgent appointments – in August 2023, they provided 50% more same-day appointments than in August 2019.

However, we know that some patients have had to wait longer than they would like for non-urgent appointments. We are working hard to understand the reasons behind the increase in demand and we are doing all we can to improve this position.

Results are presented at GP practice, Primary Care Network (PCN), Integrated Care System (ICS) and national level. In the One Gloucestershire ICS, 21,569 questionnaires were sent out and 8,505 were returned completed, representing a response rate of 39%.

The results show that confidence and trust in the county’s health professionals remains high, at 95%, with 89% of patients reporting that they felt listened to at their appointment and 93% reporting that they felt involved in decisions about their care and treatment. 88% of patients were happy that they were treated with care and concern.

Dr Andy Seymour, Chief Medical Officer at NHS Gloucestershire, said:

“We welcome these results which show that patients’ overall experience with Gloucestershire GP practices is positive, above the national average and amongst the highest in England.

This is testament to the commitment of GP surgery teams across the county who have been working incredibly hard to provide the best possible care under intense pressure.

GP surgeries are facing a record increase in patient contacts whilst dealing with staffing shortages across practice teams. They deserve huge recognition for their commitment to patient care and their work to embrace innovative practices and local partnerships.

Given the extent of the challenges in primary care, we believe practices should be commended for maintaining such high standards overall across a range of survey themes.

However, we are not complacent as we know that not all patients are quite so happy with their experience. There is some variability for patients across the county accessing appointments and some patients have had to wait longer than they would like for non-urgent appointments.”

NHS Gloucestershire is working closely with practices and PCNs to improve access to services in all areas of the county.

Helen Goodey, Director of Primary Care and Place, said:

“Our key focus has been to provide more appointments for our population. Over 353,800 appointments are delivered on average each month by GP practices across the county, an increase of 18.1% on pre-COVID pandemic levels in 2019. We understand this to be significantly above the national average increase.

We are pleased that our focus on improving access to appointments has been reflected in the survey results and we will continue to do all we can to make further improvements.”

Dr Tom Yerburgh, Chair of Gloucestershire Local Medical Committee, said:

“We know how important it is for people to receive the right care and timely support from their GP practice in a way that suits their needs, and these results provide a useful insight into patients’ experiences.

Primary care staff are going to incredible lengths in challenging circumstances, and we thank them for their continued hard work and dedication.

We will continue to work closely with NHS Gloucestershire to ensure that appropriate support, particularly around areas such as recruitment, appointments and booking systems, is being provided.”

NHS Gloucestershire will continue to progress its long-term primary care infrastructure plan to improve the patient experience and environment. Over the last six years, around £65m worth of capital investment has supported 20 schemes, both new builds and extensions.

Additional information

Gloucestershire’s practices have a history of embracing new ways of working and developing practice teams.

They are doing their best to be innovative and take opportunities to adapt how they work to serve patients and support staff as best they can, offering the right kind of care and appointments, based on the nature of the patient’s symptoms, condition and needs.

Some have introduced new triage and telephony systems, and most practices now have other healthcare professionals such as clinical pharmacists, physiotherapists, mental health workers and paramedics working within or alongside practice teams – making a big contribution and supporting them to meet the individual needs of patients.

In May 2023, Gloucestershire practices provided 24% more same-day appointments than in May 2019.

Face to face (in person) consultations with clinicians in the practice team are available to those who need them. They currently account for 73% of appointments in Gloucestershire with the remaining 27% conducted by phone or virtually. This compares favourably to the national average of 67%.

Whilst innovations in video and telephone consultations have been positive for many patients where it suits their lifestyle and working patterns, many patients prefer face-to-face appointments.

The national picture shows a small overall 1.1% reduction in patient satisfaction since 2022 with a similar decline in Gloucestershire of 1%.

The full 2023 GP Patient Survey results can be found at: