It seems Sunderland Echo readers are pretty happy with the service from their local GP’s surgery – provided they can get through the door.
We asked people to vote online for what they find most annoying about their surgery – getting an appointment, feeling like you’re not being listened to, issues with the reception staff or long waiting times on arrival.
“Getting an appointment” attracted more votes than the other three categories together, with a whopping 62 per cent share of the vote.
Other than that, “feeling you’re not being listened to” is the major concern, with 16 per cent, “issues with the reception staff” was almost as big a concern, with 15 per cent, while just seven per cent of voters said long waiting times were the problem.
VOTE: What’s your biggest grumble with your GP practice?
Debbie Burnicle, deputy chief officer at NHS Sunderland Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) said: “Feedback from patients is very important to us, and we spent time last summer asking people about what was important to them.
“We also asked our practices, as we know they are feeling the strain as a result of increasing demand and recruitment and retention pressures.
“These views have informed our plans over the next few years as we know general practice is often the first point of contact for local people, with 3,000 consultations a day in Sunderland, and can really make a difference to the health and wellbeing of local people.
“The most recent national survey again showed higher than average satisfaction with GPs on all key indicators, including appointments in Sunderland, but we know that access to appointments is a concern for people and can be improved.
“Examples of plans to sustain general practice include an extended hours service, which is making it easier to see a GP outside traditional appointment hours in three of our five localities.”
“We are currently evaluating this scheme and seeing to extend this and test it further. We have also had real success with schemes to attract more GPs and have recently attracted eight newly-trained GPs.”