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Patients' Views Of GP Services

Ruzanna Harutyunyan's picture

Health Minister, Michael McGimpsey has launched a survey that will seek the views of patients' experiences of their General Practitioner (GP) services.

The GP Patient Experience Survey, 'Your Doctor, Your Experience, Your Say', will measure the quality of services patients receive and provide greater public accountability to delivering services that better meet the needs of local patients.

The questionnaire will ask patients about their experiences of booking an appointment, the treatment they receive from their GP and their satisfaction with GP opening hours.

The questionnaire will be issued to around 241,000 patients throughout Northern Ireland from January 2009–March 2009. Patients are randomly selected and all responses are confidential. Taking part is completely voluntary.

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Launching the questionnaire the Minister said: "Patients are at the heart of everything we do. It is vitally important that the services we provide meet their needs and expectations. The GP Patient Experience Survey will give us feedback on how GP services are performing and crucially help us plan to meet future healthcare needs.

"For the vast majority of patients, their first point of contact with health and social care is when they go to see their local GP. I appreciate that access to these services is therefore a high priority for all patients. GP practices are at the forefront of delivering frontline care. They develop partnerships with patients, enabling them to remain healthy and in particular, helping those who suffer from long term illnesses to manage their conditions.

The Minister concluded: "I would encourage all those who receive a questionnaire to complete it as soon as possible. It is of course voluntary but this is your opportunity to make your views known - good or bad - and to help shape your local service."

Individual responses to the questionnaire will be completely confidential. Only anonymised data will be provided to the Department, Health and Social Services Boards and GP practices to help improve GP services.

Survey results will be made available by June 2009.