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Improving the patient experience in general practice with the General Practice Assessment Questionnaire (GPAQ)

Objective To facilitate the General Practice Assessment Questionnaire (GPAQ) with local general practice surgeries, with a view to helping achieve Quality and Outcomes Framework points, improving patient experience in primary care, and increasingpatient involvement in health care. Design GPAQ is one of two nationally accredited general practice patient satisfaction surveys and is developed by the National Primary Care Research and Development Centre (NPCRDC) at the Universityof Manchester.Setting The Leicestershire Primary Care Audit Group (PCAG) facilitated this survey for general practices in Leicestershire, Rutland and Northamptonshire, which contains a very varied demographic mix from deprived inner-city areas to very affluentrural communities.Subjects Data were collected for 696 doctors from 183 general practice surveys. A minimum of 50 questionnaires per practitioner were required for statistical validity, so a total of 37 981 questionnaires were analysed.Results Results take the form of scale scores calculated by combining responses to questions on the form. The six scales are ‘Receptionists’, ‘Access’, ‘Communication’, ‘Enablement’, ‘Continuity’ and ‘Overall satisfaction with the service’. Once calculated,these scale scores could be compared with national benchmarks supplied by the NPCRDC. Comparison could also be made between the practice and the PCT, or between PCTs, or with aggregated PCAG benchmarks for all 37 981 samples.Conclusions The GPAQ survey has generated vast amounts of invaluable data concerning patient experiences of primary care, and has proven to be an excellent way of involving patients in healthcare provision.


Craig Chanter, Stephen Ashmore, Sharon Mandair

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