Yealm Medical Centre - GP Patient Survey

The information below is taken from the 2020 GP Patient Survey. People registered at general practices across England were asked how easy or difficult it is for patients to see or speak to a doctor at their practice. The results for this practice are depicted below.

We are please that this reflects our aim to provide excellent health care and support for our patients.

What we could improve, and how we have responded:

  • 66% of patients found it easy to get through to the practice by phone (compared to 65% national average)
    • We have introduced a new phone system to try and direct patients appropriately to the correct team.
    • We have increased our receptionist cover, and recently changed their protocols so that answering phones is always the top priority.
    • We have introduced new software that allows us to see how long patients are waiting on the phone to identify busy times and ensure we are staffed appropriately at those times.
  • 53% of patients were offered a choice of appointments when they last tried to make an appointment (compared to 60% national average)
    • We have changed our appointment structure, mainly, at the moment in response to the COVID pandemic. However, some of the changes made we anticipate using in the long term, including e-consultations, and offering video consultations to offer greater flexibility to patients. Currently we are triaging all calls to avoid unnecessary footfall (and infection risk) in the surgery, but we plan to return to having pre-bookable appointments available once the COVID pandemic is over.
  • 46% of patients usually get to see or speak to their preferred GP when they would like to (compared to 45% national average)
    • This is more challenging to address. We recognise the benefit for both patient and doctor of having continuity of care. Generally there are telephone slots available for any given GP within 7-10 days, but the problem seems to arise when a problem doesn’t need to be dealt with urgently on the day, but isn’t appropriate to be left for a week or more.
    • Our reception team has received training to try and ensure that patients are encouraged to see their preferred doctor (even if this means waiting a few more days).
  • There would be value in exploring this in more detail through our own patient survey.

More detailed results from the GP Patient Survey are available from the GP Patient Survey website:



96% of respondents would recommend this surgery to someone new to the area

Local (CCG) average: 85% National average: 77%

96% of respondents say the last GP they saw or spoke to was good at involving them in decisions about their care

Local (CCG) average: 88% National average: 82%

90% of respondents describe their experience of making an appointment as good

Local (CCG) average: 82% National average: 73%