Doctor who? A third of North West patients don't know their GP's name


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• A third of NW patients don't know the name of a single GP at their surgery

• Two-thirds never see the same GP

Pressure at GP surgeries in the North West now mean two-thirds of patients never see the same doctor, according to The State of Britain's GP Services Report.

The report, which examined the experiences of 1,000 patients, also found that 1 in 3 North West residents were so distanced from the providers of their primary care that they were unable to name their GP.

The report by AKEA Life, which offers home visits from dedicated family doctors, uncovered that just 36% of patients see the same GP every time they go to their surgery.

Dr. James Palaweck, chief medical officer at AKEA Life, said: "A lot of GP services are under so much pressure to deal with increasing numbers of patients that it is no longer the norm for patients to be seen by the same family doctor every time they go.

"Instead they often see a nurse practitioner or locum GP who might only be at the surgery for a short period of time. It's sad to see that so few patients know their GP or have a long-term relationship with them these days."

A fifth of patients in the North West (21%) now see up to three different GPs per year.

More than half of North West residents (53%) agreed that they would feel more comfortable attending appointments if they were to see the same GP every time.

Dr. Palaweck added: "Having a good relationship between patients and doctors is important to help with diagnosis, particularly with more serious cases such as cancer or mental wellbeing. If a patient is uncomfortable discussing their symptoms with their GP because they've never met them before, this can draw out the diagnosis and delay treatment."

The research also found that 18-24 year olds are least likely to know the name of their doctor, while for those aged over 55, 69% said they know the name of their regular GP, the highest percentage.

AKEA Life is a new GP service that provides quick, convenient and quality access to health advice in patients' own homes, workplaces or wherever they are, via a dedicated family doctor.

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