In recent years, the NHS has invested in ‘extended hours’ schemes, whereby general practice are encourage to open beyond their contracted hours of 8am to 6.30pm Monday to Friday. In a study published in the British Journal of General Practice, we examined associations between overall experience of general practice and patient experience of making appointments and satisfaction with opening hours using data from the General Practice Patient Survey.
We found that patient experience of making appointments and satisfaction with opening hours were only modestly associated with overall experience. Patient satisfaction was most strongly associated with GP interpersonal quality of care
We concluded that policymakers in England should not assume that recent policies to improve access will result in large improvements in patients’ overall experience of general practice.
The article was covered by the medical magazine Pulse.