GP patient survey: How did your surgery score?

GP surgery

Almost 11,000 people in the region responded to the annual GP patient survey - Credit: Denise Bradley

Patients at around 90pc of GP surgeries in Suffolk and north-east Essex said they received an overall good experience in the last year. 

The data has been revealed as part of the annual GP patient survey, which saw almost 11,000 people across the region respond to a series of questions regarding the service they received last year. 

The region performed better than the national average across all four categories - overall experience, ease of getting through to their practice by phone, ease of booking an appointment and satisfaction with appointment times. 

Out of the 91 practices in the Suffolk and north Essex area, only 10 were rated less than 70pc for the overall experience. 

Dr Ed Garratt from Ipswich and East Suffolk and West Suffolk clinical commissioning groups said he w

Dr Ed Garratt said the response is an "incredibly positive achievement". - Credit: Archant

On the 77% positive experience response, Dr Ed Garratt, chief officer at Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board, said: "This is an incredibly positive achievement for all the staff working in GP practices across the area as well as their patient groups who provide valuable advice and support."

North Clacton Medical Group in Clacton-on-Sea, Essex, saw the highest levels of dissatisfaction, with 39% of respondents relaying a positive experience. 

Only 12% found it easy to get through to the practice by phone. 

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Close behind was Mayflower Medical Centre, in Harwich, Essex. 

43% of respondents described their experience as good, while just 10% found it easy to get through by phone.

The best performing practice in the area was Stanton Surgery in Bury Saint Edmunds. 

Stanton saw 95% of respondents describe their overall experience as good, while 92% said they find it easy to get through by phone.

Dr Nick Redman, from the practice, said: "We were delighted to hear that patients remain appreciative of the efforts of our team despite a difficult period for the practice over the past year dealing with COVID, staff shortages and building works."

Another high performing practice was Bildeston Health Centre, which scored 93% for positive patient experience , and an even higher 96% for access via phone.

The survey also looked at reasons why patients had avoided making appointments, with the majority of those saying it was a result of finding it hard to do so or concerned about being a burden on the NHS.

Dr Freda Bhatti, a GP in Great Bentley and a member of the Suffolk and North East Essex Integrated Care Board, said: "As a working GP I'm very aware of the challenges faced daily by our GP practices.

Yet these survey results show they are continuing to perform well, highlighting the really good work being done by staff to best look after their patients."