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Patient Concerns Over Mistake Handling by GP Practices

Posted in: Medical Negligence 

A survey asking over 10,000 people about their experiences of GP practices and out of hours care in Scotland has revealed that many patients are concerned about the way practices deal with medical mistakes when they occur and find it difficult to access GP services.

Although the results of the 2013/14 Health and Care Experience Survey are generally positive, particularly in regard to out of hours ambulance and paramedic services, concerns over care and treatment, access and social care show that improvements in the health and social care sector can still be made.
 
In particular, the results show:

  • Two out of every five patients that experienced a mistake while in the care of a GP practice were not satisfied with how it was dealt with;
  • Four of the five most negatively answered GP questions related to issues of access, such as not being able to get through on the phone and being unable to speak to a doctor or nurse within 2 working days;
  • Positive ratings for overall arrangements to see a doctor fell 6 percentage points from the 2009/10 survey;
  • Users of care services were least positive about coordination of health and care services.

Although the majority of patients and care users who participated in the survey reported a positive experience of their care, the overall finding is that patients are slightly less positive than in previous surveys. It is thought the drop in ratings for GP access and care may be linked to increased demand for services.

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