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Haverhill GP practices prop up the table of patient survey results

A new patient survey has revealed that, out of the 25 GP practices in the West Suffolk Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area, the two in Haverhill are at the bottom of all nine graphs that compare the results for all surgeries.

The Ipsos MORI survey asked patients at The Christmas Maltings and Clements and The Haverhill Family Practice a range of questions.

They included;‘how would you describe your experience of making an appointment’ and ‘how easy it is to get through to someone at your practice.’

Clements Surgery in Haverhill
Clements Surgery in Haverhill

The positivity of the responses to the questions was then scored as percentages and listed as graphs.

The number of survey respondents that, for example, described their 'overall experience of this GP practice as good' was 43 per cent for Christmas Maltings and Clements and 70 per cent for Haverhill Family Practice.

The West Suffolk CCGaverage score for this question was 86 per cent and the national average 82 per cent.

Cllr Alan Stinchcombe outside the Haverhill Family Practice, one of the two GP practices in town. Picture by Mark Westley
Cllr Alan Stinchcombe outside the Haverhill Family Practice, one of the two GP practices in town. Picture by Mark Westley

The percentage of patients that said they 'found it easy to get through to this GP practice by phone' was 13 per cent for Christmas Maltings and 42 per cent for Haverhill Family Practice.

This compared to averages of 74 per cent for the CCG and 65 per cent nationally.

Haverhill town councillor Alan Stinchcombe, said of the results: “We know that NHS England and West Suffolk CCG are currently preoccupied with the coronavirus epidemic, but unfortunately everything that we’ve seen from them prior to that suggests that they are constitutionally unable or unwilling to either support the Haverhill practices back to performance in line with other practices in the CCG or to introduce fresh competition that would motivate them to do so.”

A spokesman for NHS West Suffolk CCG said the good work done recently in the town’s GP practices has had positive feedback from patients about the care on offer.

“Staff are working exceptionally hard and are doing their very best to support people’s wellbeing. We’re extremely grateful.

“Recent initiatives, such as the introduction of a new online appointment system, have given a real boost to services. The Haverhill Family Practice has introduced a new system where they have an on-call team who triage all the ‘phone calls/ online queries/ e-consults and deal with them appropriately. No one is turned away or will be asked to call back.

“Working with patients and partners, we are determined to build on these achievements to make service levels even better, although it’s important to remember that, in addition to the challenges presented by coronavirus, the ongoing issues of health care staff recruitment and meeting patient demand remain.

“It is important, also, to put this survey in perspective. These results are based on 200 completed questionnaires, representing the views of fewer than one per cent of the 33,000 patients across both practices.”

You can find the full survey results HERE

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