THE Kennet and Avon Partnership in Marlborough has scored one of the lowest overall ratings for GPs in the area, revealed by the latest NHS Patient Survey.

It is in the lowest 10 of 94 surgeries surveyed across Wiltshire and Swindon, Bath and North Somerset, which compared responses from nearly 11,000 people.

But another surgery just a few miles away is near the top of the list. Ramsbury Surgery scored some of the highest marks in the county, coming fourth.

The survey asked patients of all ages from 16 up questions from how helpful the receptionist was, to how hard it was to get through on the phone.

While 72 per cent of respondents described their overall experience of the Kennet and Avon, which operates in Marlborough and Pewsey, as good, it does not meet the local average of 85 per cent or the national average of 82 per cent, whereas Ramsbury got a 99 per cent score.

Two other surgeries, The Old School House in Great Bedwyn and Burbage, also came in the top ten with 98 and 97 per cent respectively, with all three scoring higher than the CCG average on all questions.

Kennet kept pace with the rest on how helpful people thought receptionists were with 88 per cent agreeing. But it fell down with just 58 per cent satisfied with the general practice appointment times available against the local (CCG) average of 63 per cent.

A total of 96 per cent of patients had confidence and trust in the healthcare professional they saw or spoke to during their last general practice appointment. And 79 per cent said they have had enough support from local services or organisations in the last 12 months to help manage their long-term conditions.

Amy Lacey, patient services manager at the Kennet and Avon Medical Partnership, said it would continue to work closely with patients to improve, and had already made some changes. In a statement on behalf of the surgery she said:

“The GP Patient Survey is one of the many ways that patients are asked to feed back on their experience of the practice. This year, 119 patients responded, which represents just less than 0.7 per cent of our practice population.

“We have worked hard as a practice to increase the number of clinicians that patients can see as we believe this diversity of staff allows our patients to receive the most appropriate care. While patients may be used to seeing their GP, we would encourage them to see other members of our clinical team, such as our paramedic, clinical pharmacist or specialist nurses.

“The survey seems to suggest we need to do more to promote these clinicians and the work they do so that our patients are aware of who is best placed to help them.

“Since the survey was undertaken, coronavirus has meant that we have transformed the way we work and so some of the concerns about appointment availability may no longer be an issue. We have returned to offering services to patients between 7.30am and 8pm most days Monday to Friday, and we hope patients can access the care they need at a time suitable to them.

“Our GPs now routinely offer telephone and video consultations, and patients will be invited in to see a clinician if this is appropriate; we are keen to see how this change will be reflected in the results of next year’s survey.”

Ramsbury got a 100 per cent score in terms of patient satisfaction for getting through on the phone – 35 per cent higher than the national average.

And 95 per cent of Ramsbury patients usually got to see or speak to their preferred GP when they wanted to, compared to 44 per cent at Kennet and Avon.

At Ramsbury 92 per cent of patients felt involved as much as they wanted to be in decisions about their care and treatment during their last GP appointment.