A new survey from health regulator the Healthcare Commission has found that while more patients are saying they are “completely satisfied” with care in GP practices and health centres, significant numbers still cannot get appointments at a time of their choosing. GP access has been a major theme of recent Government policy, with rows with the BMA and Conservative Party over GP access and £250 million investment in new 'polyclinics'. Health Minister Ben Bradshaw recently accused GPs of operating local 'gentlemen's agreements' to prevent extended hours of access.

The Daily Telegraph reports this as “15 million people nationally – a figure derived from extrapolating survey responses up to the national level. Using the figures in this way, it seems that 10 million adults in England cannot book an appointment more than three days in advance; and that five million people cannot see a GP within the target of two working days. Moreover, 55% of respondents to the survey – which nationally would mean more than 22 million England – reported diffculties getting through to their surgery on the phone.

The survey, coordinated for the Commission by the Picker Institute Europe, covered topics such as access to appointments, waiting times and patients’ relationships with NHS staff.

Alongside the results, the Commission will release on its website - for the first time - a national overview with comparative scores for all 152 primary care trusts in England, the local NHS organisations that buy services from GPs and dentists.

The Commission says the results will help trusts to understand the views of their patients and respond to any concerns.

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A new survey from health regulator the Healthcare Commission has found that while more patients are saying they are “completely satisfied” with care in GP practices and health centres, significant numbers still cannot get appointments at a time of their choosing. GP access has been a major theme of recent Government policy, with rows with the BMA and Conservative Party over GP access and £250 million investment in new 'polyclinics'. Health Minister Ben Bradshaw recently accused GPs of operating local 'gentlemen's agreements' to prevent extended hours of access.

The Daily Telegraph reports this as “15 million people nationally – a figure derived from extrapolating survey responses up to the national level. Using the figures in this way, it seems that 10 million adults in England cannot book an appointment more than three days in advance; and that five million people cannot see a GP within the target of two working days. Moreover, 55% of respondents to the survey – which nationally would mean more than 22 million England – reported diffculties getting through to their surgery on the phone.

The survey, coordinated for the Commission by the Picker Institute Europe, covered topics such as access to appointments, waiting times and patients’ relationships with NHS staff.

Alongside the results, the Commission will release on its website - for the first time - a national overview with comparative scores for all 152 primary care trusts in England, the local NHS organisations that buy services from GPs and dentists.

The Commission says the results will help trusts to understand the views of their patients and respond to any concer