I have received a text message asking for feedback on my GP practice. What is this?

NHS England has introduced a new survey to help us better understand the experiences of patients contacting their GP practice. They want to know whether the support you received from us met your needs, particularly in terms of the appointments you were offered and the care you received.

Why should I fill in the survey?

The NHS wants to understand whether the services available are meeting the needs of the population. Completing the survey is of course voluntary, but we want to encourage as many people as possible to participate. This will help the NHS as a whole, and us at LWP, identify what is working well or what might not be working as well as it should.

Will my GP practice see my responses?

Your response to the survey will be completely anonymous which means the only thing that can be identified is the Practice you are registered with. Responses to the survey will be collated and reviewed regularly by us here at Living Well, as well as nationally. The results will help us to identify what is working well from a patient perspective and what isn’t working so well so we can improve or adjust how we work to support you.

I didn’t see my doctor face to face. Do I still need to complete it?

There have been lots of changes to the way people can access and contact their GP practice, particularly over the last 18 months or so. It is really important for us to understand your experiences at this time whether that is on the phone, face-to-face, via a video link, online via eConsult or a text message response from your GP.

If I have a lot of appointments at my doctors – will I be asked to complete a survey every time?

No. Patients should only receive a maximum of one request per month and you can choose not to answer the survey or opt out of the survey at any time.

Which patients will be invited to complete the survey?

Any patient aged 16 or over who has recently had contact with their practice could be invited to take part in the survey.

My friend/relative had an appointment on the same day but hasn’t received a text. Why is that?

Not every patient will receive a request for feedback, just a representative sample of patients on any given day.

What does the survey look like?

The survey comes through by text message containing a link to a website. The survey will contain a few questions for you to complete, focusing on your experience of booking and completing your appointment. We will also ask some demographic questions about you personally, such as your age and ethnic group, so that while we cannot identify you personally we can ensure the responses are representative of the broader population.

How will NHS England use the results of the survey?

Results from all GP practices taking part in the trial will be analysed centrally, to encourage and motivate existing high standards and to support improvement where needed. Over time, the results will also track trends of patient experience in different patient groups and enable the NHS to address evident inequalities.

How will my personal data be used?

Survey responses remain entirely anonymous. Your personal data will be used in accordance with General Data Protection Regulation standards ensuring all the necessary safeguards are in place to use it securely.

How do I provide feedback for the survey without a mobile phone?

Currently this new survey is limited to only those patients to whom we can send a text message. NHS England would like to reach all patients who access General Practice, and so over the next few months NHS England will be working to understand how to make the survey accessible to all patients. This includes those who do not have online access or may need to use alternative formats, for example patients with learning disabilities or those for whom English is not their first language.

Can I be identified through the survey?

No. Data from GP practices will be used securely to select patients who have had a contact with their GP practice so that a request for feedback can be made but your responses remain entirely confidential and you can’t be identified.

What if I don’t want to take part?

That’s absolutely fine. Responding to the survey is entirely voluntary and you can choose not to answer or to opt out of receiving further invitations via text message at any time.

I have already notified the surgery that I don’t want to take part in surveys or be contacted by text – will this be taken into account?

Yes. If you have already informed us that you don’t wish to be contacted, you will be excluded from receiving the survey.

Where can I find the results for Living Well Partnership?

The survey is currently being tested in a few practices but once this goes live across the country for every practice, results will be published a monthly basis, grouped into primary care networks so you can find us easily.