2021 GP Patient Survey Results Released

The latest GP Patient Survey (GPPS) results have now been published – this year’s survey was conducted during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The author(s)

  • Rachel Williams Public Affairs
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The latest GP Patient Survey (GPPS) results have now been published. The infographic below and national report (downloadable from the GPPS website) detail the headline findings of patients’ experience of their local GP practice and other local NHS services.

The survey asks about patients’ local GP services (including use of online services, awareness and satisfaction with opening times and preferred GPs), experience of making an appointment, the quality of care at their last appointment, overall experience of their GP practice, experience when their GP practice is closed and NHS dentistry as well as current health circumstances.

Changes were made to the questionnaire in 2021 to reflect significant changes to the delivery of primary care services and how patients experience them in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.  

The results show that there has been a significant change in the types of appointment patients got, with almost half last having a phone appointment (47% compared with 10% in 2020). Overall, 80% felt they needed a general practice appointment in the last 12 months; of these, 42% said they avoided making an appointment, including 20% because they were worried about the burden on the NHS and 17% who were concerned about catching COVID-19. The survey also demonstrates an increase in patients who say they felt isolated from others during the last year (15% compared with 7% in 2020).

However, there has been little change in patients’ ratings of the care they received. For example, 93% said they were involved as much as they wanted to be in decisions about their care and treatment (also 93% in 2020). Overall experience of the GP practice continues to be very positive: 83% said they had a very or fairly good overall experience compared with 82% in 2020.

GP Patient Survey (GPPS) Infographic July 2021 - Ipsos MORI

You can access and analyse GPPS results at national, Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) or practice level by going to www.gp-patient.co.uk or email the team at [email protected].

For CCG specific results you can access individual slidepacks which bring together CCG data for key questions in one report, including trend data, practice comparisons and benchmarking against national level data.

Use the GPPS Analysis Tool to view the 2021 results for each question in charts and tables with the option to filter for specific groups of patients by age, ethnicity and more. You can also create your own subgroups for analysis, run bespoke crosstabulations, and download results in PowerPoint and Excel, or see how the results have changed since 2018 by using the trend function.

Technical information

This is the fifteenth year that GPPS has been conducted in England, providing national, CCG and practice-level data about patients’ experiences. Ipsos MORI administers the survey on behalf of NHS England, with fieldwork carried out in January-March each year.

The overall response rate to the 2021 survey is 35.3% based on 850,206 surveys returned between 4 January and 6 April 2021. Data are weighted to match the profile of the population. Further methodological information is available to view in the Technical Annex.

The author(s)

  • Rachel Williams Public Affairs

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