Patient experience of primary care - GP services
The main facts and figures show that:
- a high percentage of patients (84.8%) reported a positive experience of GP services in 2016/17
- over the 6 years presented, patients in the Irish, African, Any other Black, and White British ethnic groups have shown consistently higher rates of satisfaction than other ethnic groups
- over the same 6 years, Bangladeshi, Pakistani, Indian and Chinese patients were consistently less likely to report a positive experience
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 800,000), 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 it 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 200 each year) and have been variable year on year.
What the data measures
This data measures the percentage of people who have a positive experience of GP services in England. It doesn’t include GPs in hospital or other clinical settings.
The data source is the GP patient survey (GPPS), commissioned by NHS England and conducted by Ipsos MORI.
People were asked to rate their overall experience of GP services. Those who answered ‘fairly good’ or ‘very good’ were considered to have had a positive experience.
Patients are eligible for the survey if they live in England and:
- are 18 years of age 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
The ethnic categories used in this data
The standardised ethnic groups based on the 2011 Census were used.
- English/Welsh/Scottish/Northern Irish/British
- 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
- Any Other Asian background
- Any Other Black/African/Caribbean background
Other ethnic group:
- Any Other ethnic group
Satisfaction with GP services by ethnicity
Percentage of patients reporting a positive experience of GP services by ethnicity over time
|Mixed White/Black African||82.4||83.9||86.2||81.8||79.8||85.6|
|Mixed White/Black Caribbean||84.5||81.1||80.8||78.2||81.3||80.2|
This data shows that:
- the patients most likely to report a positive experience of GP services in 2016/17 were Irish (88.8% did so), African (87.7%), White British (86.2%) and those from the Any Other Black ethnic group (87.1%) – all in the top 4 most satisfied groups over the 6 years covered, though not always in the same order
- the patients least likely to report a positive experience of GP services in 2016/17 were Bangladeshi (73.7% did so), Pakistani (72.3%), Indian (76.0%) and Chinese (75.8%) – all consistently among the least likely to report a positive experience over the 6 years covered
- Gypsy or Irish travellers were in the 3 least likely groups to report a positive experience in 4 out of the 5 most recent years, though these results should be treated with caution as few in this group took part in the survey
- the percentage of patients reporting a positive experience of GP services fell over the 6 years from 88.3% in 2011/12 to 84.8% in 2016/17
- over the same period, the difference between the most and least satisfied ethnic groups increased from 13.8 percentage points in 2011/12 to 16.5 percentage points in 2016/17
The GPPS is the major survey of patient experience of GP services in England.
In 2016/17, approximately 2.1 million surveys were sent out and approximately 800,000 responses were received. The average response rate was 37.5%.
Respondents can respond either by post, online or by phone. They may request a questionnaire in a different language, in braille or online using 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 GPPS.
For further information see the NHS England's 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.
The release of the indicator file is accompanied by a statistical commentary (PDF).
Further technical information
Type of data
Type of statistic
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.
Download the data
This file contains the following: ethnicity, year, value, denominator, numerator, confidence interval, unweighted sample size