Gazette readers seem to be pretty happy with the service from their local GP’s surgery – provided they can get through the door.
We asked people to vote online yesterday after we published the latest findings from the national GP Patient Survey, which rates surgeries according to responses from patients.
We asked readers to vote for what they find most annoying about their surgery – getting an appointment, feeling like you’re not being listened to, issues with the reception staff or long waiting times on arrival.
There was no doubt about which is the major bugbear when it comes to local medical services.
“Getting an appointment” attracted a whopping 62% share of the vote.
Other than that, “feeling you’re not being listened to” is the other major concern for patients, with 16% listing that as their main gripe.
“Issues with the reception staff” was almost as big a concern, with 15% of voters highlighting that, while just 7% of voters said long waiting times were the problem.
VOTE: What’s your biggest grumble with your GP practice?
Christine Briggs, deputy chief officer at NHS South Tyneside Clinical Commissioning Group, said: “We are always keen to hear feedback from patients, and the latest national GP survey shows satisfaction with GPs in South Tyneside is higher than the national average.
“We do understand people have concerns about access to appointments, and we have already put a number of measures in place to make it easier to see a GP. This work will continue to be a priority over the next two years.
“Over the winter we have provided additional appointments at busy times, while a number of practices are testing out innovative new ways to improve the patient experience. That includes a doctor triage system in which patients’ first contact over the phone is with a GP to ensure that they get the most appropriate service for their needs.
“We would always encourage people to take a moment to consider the most appropriate service for thmir needs, as this will often be a consultation with a trained pharmacist or a call to 111.”