HEALTH bosses praised GPs for providing high standards in the face of challenges.

Bolton CCG’s Clinical Director of Primary Care and Health Improvement, Stephen Liversedge said: “These surveys don’t always represent the full picture as the number of respondents is quite small. However, we are in line with the national average for ‘overall experience’ and I’d like to thank all our GP practices in Bolton for their continued efforts in striving for high standards in the face of increasing challenges.”

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Dr Nikita Kanani, of NHS England, said: “Family doctors in England see nearly one million people every day and this survey shows they appreciate the fantastic job they do alongside other practice staff such as nurses and pharmacists.”

Dr Kanani, will chair a new review of access to general practice looking at improving appointments, pre-bookable and same day.

Helen Buckingham, director of strategy at the Nuffield Trust, said: “Our work shows that England is experiencing the first prolonged fall in GPs per person in 50 years, and today’s GP Patient Survey shows the relentless impact this is having on patients. Measures of how easy it is to get an appointment are sliding across the board: fewer than a third of people who hoped to be seen on the same day actually experienced this.

“For the first time, less than half of people who have a preferred GP say that they are actually able to make an appointment to see them. Despite these pressures, patients report GPs are still giving high quality consultations and have enough time to care.”