NHS Lincolnshire defends practices following GP Patient Survey results

An NHS spokesman has defended the efforts of GP practices in Lincolnshire, following a recent patient survey in which almost one-third of respondents registered with the Marisco Medical Practice in Mablethorpe had a negative view of the practice.

Not everyone is happy with their local GP practice, according to the latest GP Patient Survey, produced by Ipsos MORI on behalf of NHS England. Photo: Shutterstock

As reported last month, the Marisco practice received 14 per cent ‘very poor’ and 18 per cent ‘fairly poor’ ratings in the survey. Click on the link to see other results from local GP practices in Lincolnshire.

In response, a spokesperson for NHS Lincolnshire CCG told Lincolnshire World earlier this month: “The last 18 months have been unprecedented for the NHS as a whole, including in Lincolnshire, and our GP practices have played a pivotal part in providing and maintain front line services, and in supporting the roll out of the vaccination programme across the county, delivering the bulk of the more than 900,000 – and counting - vaccinations delivered to-date, as well as simultaneously maintaining primary care services for patients in what has been challenging and unprecedented times.

“We would like to place on record our thanks and our ongoing support for them, irrespective of their ranking in the GP Patient Survey (GPPS), particularly as they are now returning to ‘business as usual’ on top of delivering the vaccination campaign. We simply would not have been able to deliver primary care front line services and the covid vaccination programme without their expertise, commitment, dedication, innovation and support.

“The GPPS is a large-scale postal survey with an online option that collects information from more than 700,000 NHS primary care patients across the country about their experiences of local health services.

“The most recent survey, conducted by Ipsos MORI, was run between January 2 and April 6, 2020, with some survey responses collected after key covid milestones, such as national lockdown in the UK.

“The results of the survey are amongst the many feedback tools we use to manage primary care access and patient experience, which range from regular attendance by Healthwatch at various of our committees – particularly our Quality and Patient Experience Committee - to present feedback on patients’ experiences of practices, to the engagement we carry out with our practices and their Patient Participation Groups.

“The Care Quality Commission also uses the survey results in its indicator framework, as key markers for quality inspections.

“Locally, we report the results regularly to meetings of our Quality leads, and overall the patient experience score for NHS Lincolnshire CCG’s practices is in line with the national average.

“With a registered population in Lincolnshire of approximately 760,000 people, we note that, of the 23,712 people who received the GPPS in the county, 10,023 responded to it, which is a response rate of 42 percent (the national response rate was 32 percent). These 10,023 responses equate to a relatively small sample size and an average of approximately 117 responses per each of our 85 practices.

“Whilst Ipsos MORI’s own analysis found that the overall results for the GPPS were not affected by the impact of the pandemic, it also acknowledged there were significant differences in responses pre and post-lockdown.”

The spokesman added: “In turn we recognise that, during the covid pandemic, some patients have struggled to access primary care in the ways they would historically have been used to and/or to adapt to new ways of accessing primary care. “We hope that, with time, the percentage of patients describing their overall experience of their GP practice as good will increase, particularly with greater use of and familiarity with new ways of accessing primary care services, a return to ‘business as usual’ by practices, the reintroduction of services that had to be temporarily suspended over the last 18 months, and the exceptional amount of hard work that our practices continue to put into providing the best quality primary care services.”