Date Published: 5 January 2009

Patient Experience Survey is misleading and flawed, says BMA

Health News from the United Kingdom (UK).

This year’s GP Patient Experience Survey is flawed and will end up misleading patients and GPs the BMA said today (Monday 5 January 2009), the day the survey goes live.

There have been a number of changes to this year’s Patient Experience Survey for England and Northern Ireland. The practice-based, local patient surveys, carried out as part of the Quality and Outcomes Framework, have been discontinued. The new postal survey is considerably longer than in previous years and different versions will be used in each of the four nations. Dr Laurence Buckman, Chairman of the BMA’s GP Committee, said:

GPs want feedback from patients as it helps them improve the service they offer. However we think the length and complexity of the new surveys for England and Northern Ireland may put some people off replying. We are very concerned that the changes mean we won’t be able to draw any meaningful comparison with previous years’ results, so no-one will truly know if the service has improved or got worse.

It is also a shame that the government has discontinued the practice-based patient survey which was given to patients immediately after a visit to the practice. This gave very accurate patient feedback about the quality of consultation with the GP or nurse, something the new survey will fail to do. It can be very difficult trying to remember how you felt about a consultation which took place six months ago. It means the results of the new postal survey may not give the true picture of GP services."

 

Source: British Medical Association.

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