How did your Welwyn Hatfield GP score in annual NHS patient survey?

Garden City Practice and Knebworth and Marymead Practice

How did your GP surgery score in the 2021 NHS Patient Survey? - Credit: GCP & Archant

A third of Welwyn Hatfield residents struggle to get in touch with their doctor's surgery by telephone, according to a new NHS survey.

The Welwyn Hatfield Times is today publishing a table of 13 GP surgeries in and around the borough, showing how they scored with their patients.

The survey, conducted on behalf of NHS England, sees a questionnaire sent to two million people annually, and this year, approximately 850,000 responded.

In the East and North Hertfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) area, which covers Welwyn Hatfield, just under 6,750 people took part.

Overall satisfaction

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Nationally, an average of 83 per cent of people said their overall experience of their GP surgery was good.

In the East and North Herts CCG region, it was 85 per cent.

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In Welwyn Hatfield seven of the 13 GP surgeries scored 85 per cent or higher.

At the top of the table was The Garden City Practice with 91 per cent and at the bottom was Knebworth & Marymead Practice with 77 per cent.

We asked residents to share their thoughts about their experiences with GPs since the pandemic began.

Emi was very happy with the top rated practice, she said: "Face to face appointments within hours or a few days max. Garden City practice are fantastic."

While Michelle was equally happy with Knebworth & Marymead Surgery, she said: "They have been amazing. Not just for me personally but I work for a care agency and they have been great with our clients, too."

Telephone access

Across England, 68 per cent of people said they found it easy to get through to their surgery by telephone.

In the East and North Herts CCG area, it was 65 per cent.

Only five out of the 13 surgeries in and around Welwyn Hatfield were above the national average - with the rest falling short.

Elizabeth is not a fan of the over the phone system, she said: "I hate the telephone appointment system. Doing shift work I have to ring on my days off and hope there are appointments. Then it’s the waiting around for the phone call. There are some problems that can’t be dealt with over the phone."

Gwenda think consultations over the phone are much easier and even safer: "I hate waiting in surgeries where there is a possibility of picking up bugs, cold etc. Now they are kept clear for those patients that really need to be seen!"

While Sharon's comment is something many other reader may resonate with: "It's getting through that's been the issue, I spent 76 minutes on hold only for then be told to call back the next day."

Over the phone appointments were a major problem for Pammi, who said: "Over the phone appointments awful, for months I was phoning up to try and get an appointment for the pain I was in. Wasn't until I got a face to face they suggested a blood test and found out I was diabetic and that was causing the problems!"

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