Changes in public satisfaction with GP services in Britain between 1998 and 2019: a repeated cross-sectional analysis of attitudinal data

Motab Aljohani*, Michael Donnelly, Ciaran O’Neill

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

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Abstract

Background
Between 1998 and 2019, the structure and process of general practitioner services in Britain underwent a series of reforms and experienced distinct funding environments. This paper examines changes in satisfaction with GP services over time against this backdrop.

Methods
Data were extracted from the British Social Attitudes Survey for the period 1998–2019. Logistic regression analyses investigated changes in overall satisfaction and among specific population sub-groups differentiated by socio-demographic characteristics whilst taking account of time trend and interaction effects between sub-group membership and time trend.

Results
Sustained and significant changes in satisfaction coincided closely with changes to the funding environment. Distinct patterns were evident among sub-groups. Satisfaction appeared to fall more sharply during austerity for low income groups, older people and people who had fewer formal qualifications/years in education.

Conclusion
While a series of policy initiatives were adopted over the period examined, public satisfaction seemed to move in a manner consistent with levels of government expenditure rather than exhibiting distinct breaks that coincided with policy initiatives. As services recover from the pandemic it will be necessary to invest in a significant and sustained way to rebuild public satisfaction.

Original languageEnglish
Article number83
Number of pages9
JournalBMC Primary Care
Volume23
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 18 Apr 2022

Keywords

  • Research
  • Health reforms
  • Health policy
  • Patient satisfaction
  • Primary care
  • GP services

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