Patients feeling good about GPs and other local health services

Sheena Wright, NHS Borders Director of Nursing & Midwifery
Sheena Wright, NHS Borders Director of Nursing & Midwifery

MORE than 9,000 Borders residents quizzed on their experiences of GP and local NHS services said they are happy with the level of accessibility and care offered in local GP practices.

The postal survey was carried out as part of Better Together, Scotland’s National Patient Experience Programme. Its aim was to gather patients’ views on their GP practice in each health board area.

Those in the Borders who filled in the questionnaire were all registered with a GP practice, and the questions covered topics including making an appointment, visiting the GP surgery, seeing healthcare staff, being prescribed medicines and the overall care provided by the practice.

Other questions also asked about patients’ experiences of referrals to other health professionals, out-of-hours healthcare, and outcomes from NHS treatment.

The majority of those surveyed had good experiences when it came to accessing their local GP practice. Patients were positive about their wait for an appointment with a doctor or nurse, the information provided to them about their condition and treatment, their involvement in decisions made about treatment and the medications they received.

Sheena Wright, NHS Borders’ head of nursing and midwifery, said the results of the questionnaire provided valuable information about services from the people who mattered most – the patients.

“As well as positive feedback, the results also indicate areas where we can do better and this is vital if we are to continue to improve and offer our patients the highest standards of care possible,” she said.

Some of the overall results for NHS Borders GP practices showed:

100% of patients were positive about the cleanliness of their GP practice.

89% found it was easy to get through to the practice on the phone and 95% felt the person answering the phone was helpful.

86% were positive about being able to see or speak to a doctor or nurse within two working days and 85% were positive about being able to book a doctor’s appointment three or more working days in advance.

95% were positive about the helpfulness of the receptionists.

89% were positive about the time waiting to be seen at the GP practice.

97% were positive about the doctor listening to them, while 92% were positive about having enough time with the doctor.

93% were positive about the doctor talking in a way that helped them to understand their condition and treatment.

95% were positive about the nurse listening to them, while 96% were positive about having enough time with the nurse.

98% were positive about the information provided about how and when to take their medicines and 97% knew enough about what their medicines are for.

98% found it easy enough for them to get their medicines and 98% took their prescription as they were supposed to.

92% were positive about knowing what to do if they have any problems with their medicines.

92% were positive about being treated with dignity and respect.

91% were positive about being involved as much as they want to be in decisions about their care and treatment.

72% were positive about the time they waited for out-of-hours care, while 75% were positive that the person seeing them had all the information they needed to treat them.