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GPs urged to make patient feedback simple

19/09/2017

Patients are keen to provide feedback on GP services but most don’t know how, new research from Healthwatch England has found.

The YouGov poll for Healthwatch England surveyed 1,808 adults in England in June 2017 and revealed that patients are keen to provide feedback to help improve GP services.

However, a majority had never provided feedback to their local practice because they were uncertain how to raise suggestions or concerns.

In response to the survey findings, Healthwatch Hackney called on local GPs to let patients know they are open and interested in listening to their views.

 The survey found:

  • 76% of adults surveyed would be interested in sharing  feedback with their GPs to improve services
  • Only 23% of respondents had provided feedback
  • Three out of 4 (76%) have never given feedback
  • The commonest reason for not providing feedback was being unsure about how to provide comments and raise concerns (37%)
  • Patients prefer traditional comment boxes and text/email over social media for providing feedback
  • Patients recognise the pressures faced by the NHS and are confident that doctors will take their comments seriously

‘Healthwatch Hackney regularly receives feedback from local patients about GP surgeries but many don’t know how to raise issues with their practice,’ said Healthwatch Hackney director Jon Williams.

‘We are fortunate to have many good quality GPs in Hackney. Most practices are safe and well-led with the vast majority getting a 'good' rating from the Care Quality Commission.

‘However, patients regularly tell us that they don’t know how to provide feedback or make a complaint if they are unhappy with their care. This research shows patients are willing to help practices to improve but few know how to make this happen.’

Healthwatch England national director Imelda Redmond said: ‘People tell us they want providing feedback to be simple, clear and confidential. Healthwatch is here to help busy surgeries not only improve how they seek feedback but also help GPs and practice managers explain how this insight is being used to give people the care they want.’

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