Improving GP services: commissioners and patient choice
Monitor found that, while patients were aware of and valued their ability to choose their GP practice, most people did not access information that would help them to make that choice. In addition, it said that resource constraints appeared to restrict providers' capacity to respond to the needs of patients. This presented an opportunity for commissioners to improve providers' ability and incentives to meet patients' needs.
The report found that fewer than 3% of all patients used the comparative data available online as their main source of information to compare the practices available to them. Of the minority of patients who had compared practices, 15% had used the NHS Choices website, and 5% the GP Patient Survey results.
When people were asked how their practice compared with other local practices, only 4% of patients based their response on the comparative performance information published online. Monitor suggested that there was significant scope for more patients to base their choices on objective information.
Improving GP services; commissioners and patient choice.