Patient satisfaction with GP out-of-hours services


Last updated 10 May 2019 - see all updates

This page has been archived.
It has been replaced by Patient satisfaction with GP services.

There is a new version of this page. View the latest version.

1. Main facts and figures

  • more than two-thirds of patients reported a positive experience of GP out-of-hours services in 2014/15
  • Black African patients had the highest levels of satisfaction in 2014/15 for any ethnic group for which satisfaction can be reliably estimated – nearly 3 out of 4 patients reported a positive experience
  • Indian, Chinese and Bangladeshi patients were the least likely to report a positive experience in 2014/15, with just under 3 in 5 doing so
Things you need to know

Bear in mind that the trends shown in the data may not extend beyond the time series of this analysis.

Results taken from a low number of responses are more likely to be affected by statistical variation, so observed changes might not reflect real differences. Although the number of respondents taking part each year is relatively large (about 900,000, with around 100,000 responding about out-of-hours services), caution should still be used when comparing satisfaction levels between ethnic groups or over time. This is because the sample sizes for some ethnic groups may be small.

All survey estimates are subject to a degree of uncertainty as they are based on a sample of the population. The degree of uncertainty is greater when the number of respondents is small, so uncertainty will be highest for minority ethnic groups.

This is particularly the case for people from a Gypsy and Irish Traveller background. The figures for this group are based on a small number of responses (around 30 or 40 each year) and have been variable year on year.

What the data measures

This data measures the percentage of patients satisfied with the GP out-of-hours services they get through a GP surgery. It doesn’t include GPs in hospital or other clinical settings.

The data is based on the GP patient survey (GPPS), which was commissioned by the National Health Service (NHS) and conducted by Ipsos MORI.

Patients were asked to rate their overall experience of GP out-of-hours services. Those who answered ‘fairly good’ or ‘very good’ are considered to have had a positive experience.

Patients are eligible for this survey if they:

  • are aged 18 or over
  • have an NHS number
  • have been registered with a GP for 6 months
  • have not received a survey in the last 12 months

These statistics only include patients who live in England.

The ethnic categories used in this data

This data uses the standardised ethnic groups, based on the 2011 census:


  • English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British ("White British")
  • Irish
  • Gypsy, Traveller or Irish Traveller
  • Any Other White background

Mixed/Multiple ethnic groups:

  • White and Black Caribbean
  • White and Black African
  • White and Asian
  • Any Other Mixed/ Multiple ethnic background

Asian/Asian British:

  • Indian
  • Pakistani
  • Bangladeshi
  • Chinese
  • Any Other Asian background

Black/African/Caribbean/Black British:

  • African
  • Caribbean
  • Any Other Black/African/Caribbean background

Other ethnic group:

  • Arab
  • Any Other ethnic group

2. Satisfaction with GP out-of-hours services by ethnicity

Percentage of patients reporting a positive experience of GP out-of-hours services by ethnicity over time
Ethnicity 2011/12 2012/13 2013/14 2014/15
% % % %
All 70.9 70.2 66.2 68.6
Bangladeshi 65.0 63.8 66.3 59.1
Chinese 51.8 56.8 47.1 59.0
Indian 60.2 59.6 58.4 58.2
Pakistani 63.7 61.8 61.7 65.3
Asian other 62.9 65.2 60.6 61.2
Black African 69.3 67.6 68.8 73.3
Black Caribbean 71.3 65.3 65.7 70.1
Black other 66.8 70.6 63.2 69.2
Mixed White/Asian 61.7 60.1 61.3 68.2
Mixed White/Black African 58.2 64.2 52.5 67.3
Mixed White/Black Caribbean 77.7 69.7 64.3 68.1
Mixed other 67.5 67.4 53.3 65.9
White British 72.3 71.7 67.2 69.7
White Irish 73.6 68.4 68.5 71.3
White Gypsy/Traveller 66.0 59.6 67.2 75.2
White other 65.1 63.3 61.4 64.0
Arab 67.7 63.2 65.6 62.7
Any other 69.0 71.1 67.9 69.7
Unknown 66.3 65.2 58.0 59.9

Download table data for ‘Satisfaction with GP out-of-hours services by ethnicity’ (CSV) Source data for ‘Satisfaction with GP out-of-hours services by ethnicity’ (CSV)

Summary of Patient satisfaction with GP out-of-hours services Satisfaction with GP out-of-hours services by ethnicity Summary

The data on GP out-of-hours services shows that:

  • 70.9% of patients had a positive experience of GP out-of-hours service in 2011/12, but that fell to 68.6% of patients in 2014/15
  • the ethnicities with the highest levels of satisfaction in 2014/15 were Gypsy and Irish Traveller, Black African, and Irish, at 75.2%, 73.3% and 71.3% respectively (although few Gypsies/Irish Travellers responded so caution should be used when interpreting this)
  • each year from 2011/12 to 2014/15, the ethnic groups most likely to report a positive experience were Black African, Irish, and White British (though not always in the same order)
  • the ethnicities least likely to report a positive experience in 2014/15 were Indian, Chinese, and Bangladeshi, at 58.2%, 59.0% and 59.1% respectively
  • each year from 2011/12 to 2014/15, satisfaction levels for each of the Asian ethnic groups were below the national average, except in 2013/14, when Bangladeshi patients had a level of satisfaction very slightly above the average for England

3. Methodology

The GP patient survey (GPPS) is the major survey of patient experience of GP services in England.

In each of the years up to 2015/16, and over a whole year cycle, approximately 2.6 million surveys were sent out and approximately 900,000 responses were received. The average response rate was 35%.

Respondents can respond either by post, online or by phone. They may request a questionnaire in a different language, in Braille or online using British Sign Language.

All surveys carry the risk of biased results if some types of people are less likely to respond than others. To compensate for this, data from the GPPS is weighted to account for this non-response bias. This adjusts the data to account for potential differences between the demographic profile of all eligible patients in a practice and the patients who actually complete the questionnaire. The non-response weighting scheme has been developed by Ipsos MORI, incorporating elements such as age and gender as well as factors from the area where the respondent lives such as level of deprivation, ethnicity profile, ACORN classification and so on. These have been shown to impact on non-response bias within the GP Patient Survey.

Further information can be found on the GP Patient Survey website.

Suppression rules and disclosure control

Data is suppressed if fewer than 10 people answer the question in a particular group. This is to protect the confidentiality of respondents.


Values are presented to one decimal place.

Related publications

The release of the indicator file is accompanied by a statistical commentary (PDF).

Quality and methodology information

Further technical information

GP patient survey technical annex – 2014 to 2015 annual report (PDF) (PDF opens in a new window or tab)

4. Data sources


Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics


NHS Digital

Publication frequency


Purpose of data source

The GP Patient Survey has been designed to give patients the opportunity to feed back about their experiences of their GP surgery, and how well they are doing at providing services to patients. The survey asks patients about their experiences of their local GP surgery and other local NHS services, and includes questions about their general health. The survey includes questions about a range of issues, such as how easy or difficult it is to make an appointment at the surgery, satisfaction with opening hours, and the quality of care received from the GP and practice nurses, amongst other things.

Replies to the survey are intended to help GP surgeries understand where they can improve.

Secondary source

Type of data

Survey data

Type of statistic

National Statistics


NHS England

Publication frequency


Purpose of data source

Feedback from patients on their experience, treatment and care is an important source of information for helping local clinicians and managers to improve the quality of service design and healthcare.

The GP patient survey (GPPS) responses used for this measure offer healthcare providers insights that can help improve GP surgeries and the services the provide.

5. Download the data

Patient satisfaction with GP out-of-hours services - Spreadsheet (csv) 14 KB

This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, value, denominator, numerator, confidence intervals, unweighted sample size