Patients’ opinions mixed on south Reading GP surgeries

NHS England published the results of their GP patient survey in July. The survey assessed patients’ experience of their GP practice across the country. The surgeries with the highest patient satisfaction in the town tended to be in Caversham and Tilehurst, while the surgeries with the lowest patient satisfaction clustered around Calcot, Whitley and the town centre.

The survey asked patients 23 questions to assess their satisfaction with their GP surgery. These questions asked things like if their GP was giving them enough time, or how easy they found it to get an appointment.

A table showing percentage satisfaction ratings for each Reading GP surgery is available here. A similar table that ranks each of the practices for each of the 23 questions is available here, so you can see the strengths and weaknesses of each surgery. Not all Reading surgeries have entries; some did not return enough responses for survey results to be valid. The tables list all GP surgeries in both Reading’s Clinical Commissioning Groups (North and West Reading CCG and South Reading CCG), which extend beyond the boundaries of urban Reading [note 1].

You can look at NHS England’s survey results on their website, which also includes tools to investigate data by practice or CCG. It includes graphical summaries as well as base data.

This GP patient survey is not the same thing as the Care Quality Commission (CQC), which inspects GP surgeries every few years and publishes reports on their findings.

GP surgeries in urban Reading with the highest patient satisfaction

The five GP practices in the Reading urban area with the highest amalgamated satisfaction ratings [note 2] are the Balmore Park Surgery, the Peppard Road Surgery, the Emmer Green Surgery (all in Caversham), the Tilehurst Surgery Partnership and the University Health Centre.

The most consistent performers [note 3] in the Reading urban area are the Peppard Road Surgery, the Balmore Park Surgery, 79 Russell Street, the Westwood Road Surgery and the Eldon Road Surgery.

GP surgeries serving south Reading

The list below shows with what patients were most and least satisfied [note 4] for each practice in south Reading, with some indication about how each of these extremes compare with the rest of the town. They are listed in order of amalgamated satisfaction ratings, with best first.

Click the link below to go straight to the entry for the surgery, or scroll down.

  1. University Health Centre (Whitley Villa)
  2. Westwood Road Practice (Whitley Wood Lane)
  3. Eldon Road Surgery
  4. Pembroke Surgery
  5. Tilehurst Village Surgery (Chancellor House)
  6. Kennet Surgery
  7. Milman Road Surgery (Dr Mittal)
  8. Melrose Surgery (London Road Surgery)
  9. London Street Surgery
  10. Long Barn Lane Surgery
  11. South Reading Surgery

University Health Centre (Whitley Villa)

The University Medical Group runs the Whitley Villa Surgery on Christ Church Road as well as one in Northcourt Avenue. The CQC reported the University Health Centre as outstanding in 2015.

98.7% of patients said that the last nurse they saw or spoke to was good at treating them with care and concern. This is the highest rating for this criterion in Reading.

Only 89.6% of patients said the last nurse they saw or spoke to was good at listening to them. Even though this is the surgery’s lowest ranked criterion, it is a long way from being the worst in Reading; the Reading Walk-In Health Centre got the lowest ranking in this criterion, at 73%.


Westwood Road Practice (Whitley Wood Lane)

The Tilehurst based Westwood Road Practice runs the Whitley Wood Lane Surgery. The CQC reported the Westwood Road Practice practice as good in 2017.

91.9% of patients were able to get an appointment to see or speak to someone the last time they tried, and 88.1% of patients said the last appointment they got was convenient. In both cases, this is within the top three rankings for urban Reading. The Peppard Road Surgery got the highest rankings for both criteria, at 93.8% and 95.3% satisfaction respectively.

Only 83.1% of patients said the last nurse they saw or spoke to was good at giving them enough time. This is amongst the lower ratings for this criterion in Reading; the worst performer was the Chatham Street Surgery with 79.4% satisfaction. Only 71.2% of patients were satisfied with the surgery’s opening hours. This is also in the bottom range; the worst performer in Reading was the Circuit Lane Surgery with 58.7% satisfaction with opening hours.


Eldon Road Surgery

The CQC reported this practice as good in 2017.

91.5% of patients said the last GP they saw or spoke to was good at explaining tests and treatments. This is amongst the best rating for this criterion in urban Reading; the Tilehurst Surgery Partnership came top at 93.1%.

Only 76.2% of patients said the last appointment they got was convenient. This is fairly average for Reading; the worst performer was the South Reading Surgery at 55.6%. Only 86.6% of patients said the last nurse they saw or spoke to was good at treating them with care and concern; the worst in Reading in this category was the Circuit Lane Surgery at 74%.


Pembroke Surgery

The CQC reported this practice as good in 2016.

86.8% of patients found it easy to get through to this surgery by phone. This is amongst the best for this criterion in Reading; the Peppard Road Surgery took first prize in this category with an astonishing 100% satisfaction rating.

Only 72.7% of patients said the last GP they saw or spoke to was good at treating them with care and concern. This is amongst the lowest rating for this criterion in Reading. The worst was the Reading Walk-In Health Centre at 49.3%.


Tilehurst Village Surgery (Chancellor House)

The Tilehurst Village Surgery runs the Chancellor House Surgery on Shinfield Road. The CQC reported the Tilehurst Village Surgery as good in 2016.

96.5% of patients said the last nurse they saw or spoke to was good at giving them enough time. This is the highest rating for this criterion in Reading.

Only 61.2% of patients usually waited 15 minutes or less after their appointment time to be seen. This is in the bottom-average range for this criterion in Reading. The worst performer was the Chatham Street Surgery at 36.5%. Only 72.5% of patients were satisfied with the surgery’s opening hours. This was also in the bottom-average range; the worst in Reading was the Circuit Lane Surgery with 58.7% satisfaction for this criterion.


Kennet Surgery

The Kennet Surgery is based at Cholmondeley Road near Cemetery Junction and has a branch surgery on Christchurch Road. The CQC reported this practice as good in 2016.

86.2% of patients said the last GP they saw or spoke to was good at involving them in decisions about their care. This is amongst the best ratings in Reading; the best of all is the Balmore Park Surgery at 93.4%.

Only 40.9% of patients felt they didn’t normally have to wait too long to be seen. This is one of the worst ratings for this criterion in Reading; the lowest is the Reading Walk-In Health Centre at 39.1%.


Milman Road Surgery (Dr Mittal)

Dr Kumar’s Milman Road Surgery has been merged with Dr Mittal’s. Dr Kumar’s patient survey results are available, but have been omitted here because the surgery no longer exists. The CQC reported this Dr Mittal’s practice as good in 2017.

95.6% of patients said the last nurse they saw or spoke to was good at listening to them. This is amongst the highest satisfaction ratings for this criterion in Reading. The highest of all was the Abbey Medical Centre at 97.2%.

Only 70.7% of patients were satisfied with the surgery’s opening hours. This is at the lower end of rankings for this criterion in Reading. The Circuit Lane Surgery had the lowest satisfaction rating in this category, at 58.7%.


Melrose Surgery (London Road Surgery)

The Melrose Surgery has been merged with the London Road Surgery. The CQC reported the Melrose Surgery as inadequate in 2017, and the London Road Surgery with which it merged as good in 2016, but has not yet inspected the newly constituted surgery.

88.3% of patients said the last GP they saw or spoke to was good at giving them enough time. This is upper-average for Reading; the best in the town is the Balmore Park Surgery at 92.1%.

Only 55.8% of patients found it easy to get through to this surgery by phone, only 77% of patients found the receptionists helpful, and only 62.8% of patients described their experience of making an appointment as good. In all cases, this was near the bottom of the rankings in Reading and, in all cases, the worst ranking surgery in the town was the Circuit Lane Surgery at 26, 72.2% and 37% respectively.


London Street Surgery

The CQC rated this surgery as good in 2016 .

80.3% of patients usually got to see or speak to their preferred GP. This is amongst the best satisfaction ratings in Reading for this criterion; the best of all was the Balmore Park Surgery at 92.8%. 83.3% of patients described their experience of making an appointment as good. This is also amongst the best in urban Reading; the best of all is the Peppard Road Surgery at 91.2%.

Only 69.6% of patients said the last GP they saw or spoke to was good at listening to them. This is one of the lowest ratings in Reading; the worst of all is the Reading Walk-In Health Centre at 56.1%. Only 82% of patients said the last nurse they saw or spoke to was good at giving them enough time. This is also amongst the worst in Reading; at the bottom is the Chatham Street Surgery at 79.4%


Long Barn Lane Surgery

The CQC reported this practice as good in 2017.

56% of patients usually got to see or speak to their preferred GP. This is upper-average for Reading; the best is the Balmore Park Surgery at 92.8%. 74% of patients usually waited 15 minutes or less after their appointment time to be seen and 58.9% of patients felt they didn’t normally have to wait too long to be seen . This is also upper-average for the town; the best in Reading is the Peppard Road Surgery at 88.8% and 84.1% respectively.

Only 76.5% of patients found the receptionists at this surgery helpful. This is amongst the worst in Reading; the Circuit Lane Surgery came at the bottom in patient satisfaction with this criterion at 72.2%.


South Reading Surgery

This surgery has merged with the South Reading and Shinfield Group Medical Practice. The CQC reported the South Reading Surgery as inadequate in 2017, the Shinfield Health Centre as requiring improvement in 2017, but has not yet inspected the newly merged practice.

91.8% of patients said the last nurse they saw or spoke to was good at treating them with care and concern. This is average for Reading; the best was the University Health Centre with 98.7% patient satisfaction for this criterion.

Only 61.4% of patients who were able to get an appointment to see or speak to someone the last time they tried, and only 55.6% of patients who say the last appointment they got was convenient. This was the lowest ranked surgery in Reading in both cases.


Notes

[1] Urban Reading is defined here as the built-up area of Reading within a union of North and West Reading CCG and South Reading CCG (see map at top of article). In other words, it excludes GP surgeries in Pangbourne, Theale and Mortimer (as well as Earley and Woodley, which are not in Reading CCGs).

[2] ‘Amalgamated’ ratings are a mean (average) of all 23 percentage points. This is not an NHS England metric and gives the same weighting to each question, which may not be a fair assumption; for example, confidence in a GP could be more important than the helpfulness of receptionists, and to average the satisfaction of both to obtain a single, rankable figure may not be meaningful.

[3] ‘Consistency of performance’ is here defined as the standard deviation of the mean (and is also not an NHS England metric). This is a measure of variation that assumes a ‘normal’ distribution, which over 23 data points for small numbers of responses is unlikely. Here, it is just (mis)used as a crude measure of variability in satisfaction ratings; the lower the standard deviation, the closer most satisfaction ratings are to the mean and the more ‘consistent’ a practice’s results are.

[4] The ‘best’ rating for each surgery is the highest satisfaction rating for a given criterion, not for all criteria. For example, a surgery with a satisfaction rating of 99% in a given criterion X can still be the ‘worst’ (for that criterion only) if all the other surgeries in Reading have a rating of 99.1% in that criterion. That the given surgery, or any surgery, has a numerically worse rating (like ‘20%’) in criterion Y has no impact on a per-criterion ranking of ‘worst’ for criterion X for the given surgery.


Links
  1. GP patient survey
  2. Care Quality Commission
  3. Spreadsheet of south Reading GP surgery patient satisfaction ratings and rankings
  4. Patient Survey – technical annex
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