How did your GP surgery score in annual patient survey?
- Credit: Denise Bradley
More than a third of Norfolk and Waveney patients avoided making a doctor's appointment in the last 12 months as they were concerned about catching Covid or burdening the NHS.
It was revealed as part of the annual GP patient survey, which saw 14,000 people in the region have their say on the service they received in the last year.
Of those that responded, 61pc said they did not avoid making an appointment, followed by 20pc concerned they would be a burden on the NHS, and a further 15pc worried about catching Covid.
Some 9pc of patients said they did not make an appointment because they had found it difficult.
In Norfolk and Waveney, 82 of its 103 practices scored more than 83pc satisfaction with their patients, which was the national average in England.
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Blofield Surgery scored 99pc for the second year running, while the lowest scoring practice in this category was Roundwell Medical Centre in Costessey and Harleston Medical Practice with 70pc. The region's average in overall good experiences was 85pc.
Across the four categories - overall experience, ease of getting through to their practice by phone, ease of booking an appointment and satisfaction with appointment times - Norfolk and Waveney scored more than 70pc, with three quarters of patients saying they had a good experience when making an appointment.
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This was not the case at an individual level, especially when trying to get through by phone, which was as low as 30pc.
Fleggburgh Surgery, which scored more than 90pc across three of the four categories, saw 99pc of patients finding it easy to get through by phone.
Wells Health Centre scored more than 95pc in all categories and a perfect 100pc with patients over accessing services via the phone.
Jan Wright, practice manager for the Bolts Close site, said she felt its small, friendly surgery, with a team which worked very well together, was the reason for its marks.
She said: "We have adapted and we have still managed to see patients if they needed seeing. We have not been as rigid as other practices who really stopped all coming in.
"There is a bit of backlog to get people in for regular checkups and some people do not want to come in until Covid is done, so we could be some time.
"It's good for the staff, who are trying their best, and I'm really happy with that.
"We're a small practice, we are a small, friendly surgery who work very well together."
East Norwich Medical Partnership scored the lowest for satisfaction with appointment times and ease of contact by phone with 41pc and 30pc respectively.
It was one of three practices, including Taverham and Thorpewood, to score under 40pc when trying to get through on the phone.
Hingham Surgery was ranked the highest in terms of good experiences making an appointment with 97pc compared to 57pc at Watton Medical Practice.
This was based on the response of more than 14,000 patients completing the survey, a response rate of 46pc.
Dr Anoop Dhesi, GP and chair of NHS Norfolk and Waveney Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG), said: “We are delighted that so many of our patients are continuing to have a positive experience when they contact their GP practice.
"This is a testament to the dedication of our primary care staff, who are working hard to provide high quality services while also delivering the biggest vaccination programme in this country’s history.
"Although our GP practices have never been busier, they continue to be there for patients when they need it.”
He added that anyone needing treatment should contact their GP, visit their nearest pharmacy or call 111.