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  • Writer's pictureHealthwatch Reading

National GP patient survey shows phone access has got worse at most Reading surgeries

Patient scores fell at 15 of Reading's 18 GP practices over the past year, latest data shows.

Reading people are finding it more difficult to get through to their GP surgery this year compared to 2021, according to latest figures.

At 15 of Reading’s 18 GP practices, the number of patients saying it was easy to get through on the phone went down from 2021 levels. One surgery’s score stayed the same while only two improved on last year’s phone access scores.

Your surgery's 2022 ranking compared with 2021

From best to worst, the percentage of patients who say it's easy to get through on the phone:

· Pembroke Surgery: 100% of patients, up from 94%

· Abbey Medical Centre: 90%, down from 95%

· Westwood Rd Surgery: 83% , up from 80%

· Emmer Green Surgery: 74%, down from 93%

· Balmore Park Surgery: 73% down from 86%

· University Medical Group: 72%, down from 83%

· Long Barn Lane Surgery: 69%, same as last year

· Tilehurst Village Surgery: 66%, down from 78%

· Grovelands Medical Centre: 65%, down from 77%

· Russell St Surgery: 58%, down from 81%

· South Reading and Shinfield Group Medical Practice: 57%, down from 62%

Surgeries scoring below the national average of 53%:

· Reading Walk-In Centre: 53%, down from 63%

· Chatham St Surgery: 52%, down from 59%

· London St Surgery: 48%, down from 68%

· Tilehurst Surgery Partnership: 48%, down from 66%

· Melrose Surgery: 38%, down from 58%

· Milman and Kennet Surgery: 33%, down from 58%

· Western Elms and Circuit Lane Surgeries: 30%, down from 42%

Source: GP Patient Survey carried out yearly by Ipsos for NHS England, published 14 July 2022

The findings echo feedback that Healthwatch Reading has heard from local people about difficulties getting through to surgeries. This could be due to more people seeking appointments as pandemic restrictions ease, admin staff shortages, surgeries switching off online appointment booking or not promoting alternative contact methods.

Balmore Park Surgery was rated the best surgery for an overall 'good experience', by 94% of surveyed patients, keeping its top place ranking of last year. Only 42% of patients described their overall experience as good at South Reading and Shinfield Practice, putting it to the bottom of Reading's table.

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