The GP Patient Survey enables patients to feedback on their experience of their GP practice and other healthcare services.

It is Europe’s largest patient experience survey and has been running for 18 years. Each year around 2.5 million people, aged 16 and over and registered with a GP practice in England, are invited to take part.

The survey is run by Ipsos on behalf of NHS England.

The 2024 survey is now live, and if you are invited, please do take the time to take part.

Taking part is easy

A random selection of patients from every practice is invited to take part by letter. We may also send further letters and text message reminders to encourage as many people as possible to complete the survey.

Each letter has a link to our online survey and a unique ID number. If you are sent a text message, you simply need to click on the link, with no need to enter any other information.

The questionnaire has been awarded the Plain English Campaign’s Crystal Mark for clarity, and the online survey works with some screen readers and the font size and colour contrast can be changed.

We also support people to take part in a range of other ways to make sure the survey is as inclusive as possible. While part online is more cost effective for the NHS, we will also send a paper questionnaire which will help people who do not have access to or are not comfortable using the internet.

There is a survey helpline, with a team trained to answer questions or help you take part on the phone. The online survey can be read in 14 languages in addition to English, and a British Sign Language version is also available. We are happy to send large print and Braille versions of the questionnaire.

The survey website has lots of useful information about the help you can ask for, including an easy read information sheet.

If you are invited but find taking part in surveys or reading forms difficult, you can ask a friend or relative for help but please make sure that you answer about your own experiences.

How you can use the results

If you do take part, your answers will be used to help the NHS improve local health services. The survey provides vital information for the NHS to identify what’s working well and what can be improved. This is useful for patients and practices.

For example, because the survey provides data on every GP practice in England, patients can use the results if you are choosing a new GP practice. The compare tool on the website lets you compare results for up to three local practices. This means you can look at how other patients rate these practices for things like finding it easy to get through on the phone, or whether the healthcare professional they saw was good at listening or treated them with care and concern.

Practices can use the survey to help them understand how to improve experience for their patients. For example, GP practice managers may use the findings to identify issues, such as low awareness and use of online GP services, such as the NHS App, which could be promoted to help patients take advantage of digital modes of access.

The results can also be used to look at differences in experience between different patient groups. Using the analysis tool, you can look at how experiences vary by a range of characteristics, such as gender, age, ethnic background or by some key long-term health conditions. For example, we have written some blogs that explain how carers’ experience their GP practice and what the survey tells us about the experience of patients with diabetes.

For more information, visit the GP Patient Survey website or contact the GP Patient Survey team at [email protected].

Dr Rachel Williams, Research Director, Ipsos

The Patients Association’s helpline advisers can help you complete the GP Patient Survey. Call 0800 345 7115, have the access code you’ve been sent to complete the survey, and one of our advisers will help you take part in the survey.