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Island’s access to GPs better than UK 3 October 2008

The Department of Health and Social Security has today announced the results of a survey of patient satisfaction with access to their general medical practitioner. The results show that patients in the Isle of Man have better access to a GP than patients in England.

Eddie Teare MHK, Minister for Health and Social Security said,

“I am pleased with the response and level of satisfaction expressed by Isle of Man patients and I commend GPs for their work in this area. I am also pleased to note an improvement in three out of the four areas compared to the previous year’s survey and that the fourth area has maintained the previous high standards.”

As part of the ongoing quality element of the General Medical Practitioners’ contract, the Department of Health and Social Security undertook a patient survey in March 2008 to assess patients’ satisfaction with the accessibility to access GP services, similar to that undertaken in March 2007.

The survey concentrated upon patient satisfaction in four main areas relating to access to GP services:

? the availability of telephone advice;

? the ability to get an appointment with a GP within 48 hours;

? the ability to book an appointment more than 2 days ahead;

? the ability to book an appointment with a specified GP.

93% of Island patients were satisfied with the telephone advice they had received; 89% were satisfied with the ability to get an appointment with a GP within 48 hours; 87% were satisfied with the ability to book an appointment more than 2 days ahead; and 94% were satisfied with the ability to book an appointment with a specified GP.

This compares favourably with results of a comparative survey in the UK, which show rates of 87%, 87%, 77% and 88% respectively.

These results show an overall improvement on the 2007 survey results, with both pre-bookable appointments and appointments with a specific GP improving by 1%, appointment with a GP within 48 hours improving by 2% and telephone access remaining at the same high level.

Patients on the Island once again demonstrated their willingness to participate - the Island’s response rate across all GP Practices being 49%, compared to the response rate in England of 41%.

The detailed information recorded which forms the basis of these figures is being assessed in liaison with GP practices to identify areas where access can be further improved.

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