Number of same-day GP appointments falls at surgeries in Fishponds area
PATIENTS at GP surgeries in the Fishponds area are less likely to be able to book a same-day appointment now than in previous years.
But overall satisfaction with the services provided by family doctors remains high, according to the latest annual NHS GP Patient Survey.
At Fishponds Family Practice, based at Fishponds Health Centre in Beechwood Road, the number of patients securing an appointment on the day they called fell steadily from 49% in 2018 to 27% this year.
At Beechwood Medical Practice, which is based at the same centre, the number of same-day appointments offered fell from 58% in 2018 to 24% this year.
Both surgeries were also able to offer more same-day appointments last year.
At the Old School Surgery in Manor Road, the number of same day appointments offered fell from 28% in 2018 to 24% this year, after reaching 32% in 2019 and 30% last year.
Since last year's survey was produced, Eastville Medical Practice and Maytrees Medical Practice, based at East Trees Health Centre in Fishponds Road, have merged.
Same-day appointments were offered to just 18% of patients of the new practice – lower than last year's figures of 20% for Eastville and 41% for Maytrees and 2018's figures of 37% for Eastville and 53% for Maytrees.
Most patients are offered an appointment within a week of trying to book one: the proportion waiting more than a week was 13% for Fishponds Family Practice, 22% for Beechwood Medical Practice, 38% for the Old School Surgery and 24% for East Trees.
Some patients responding to the survey couldn't remember the length of their wait.
Overall satisfaction levels for the surgeries were 81% good and just 1% poor for Fishponds Family Practice, 87% good and 5% poor for Beechwood, 85% good and 3% poor for the Old School and 75% good and 15% poor for East Trees.
The majority of patients found it easy to get through on the phone, but rates ranged from 81% at Beechwood, 73% at Fishponds and 70% at the Old School to just 48% at East Trees.
And most patients at all of the practices said receptionists were helpful, ranging from 84% at Fishponds and East Trees to 90% and 91% respectively at Beechwood and the Old School.
The survey was carried out by polling group Ipsos MORI for NHS England and NHS Improvement, and was based on around 850,000 responses to questionnaires sent out nationwide from January to March this year.
GP Dr Geeta Iyer, of the Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire Clinical Commissioning Group, which funds GP services, said: “We are continuing to ensure that we share learning between practices about what works well, and we are working together to identify areas where we can support practices to deliver services that best meet the needs of their population.”