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Survey shows level of care is above average at most Caithness medical practices

By Alan Hendry

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The Scottish Health and Care Experience Survey asked people to rate the care provided by their local GP practice.
The Scottish Health and Care Experience Survey asked people to rate the care provided by their local GP practice.

Most medical practices in Caithness have been rated above the national average in a survey that invited patients to state how satisfied they were with GP services.

The Dunbeath, Canisbay/Castletown, Pearson and Lybster practices all scored higher than the average for Scotland of 67 per cent in the Scottish Health and Care Experience Survey, the results of which were published this week.

Questionnaires were sent out in November 2021 to a random sample of people registered with a GP in Scotland, asking about their experiences over the previous 12 months.

Those taking part were asked to give ratings based on a number of factors. These ranged from how easy it was to contact GP practices to the quality of information provided by receptionists, and how people would rate the arrangements for being able to speak to healthcare professionals.

The concluding question was: "Overall, how would you rate the care provided by your GP practice?"

The figures for Caithness in response to this question were:

  • Canisbay and Castletown Joint Medical Practice: 90 per cent
  • Dunbeath Surgery: 100 per cent
  • Lybster Medical Centre: 78 per cent
  • Riverbank Medical Practice: 61 per cent
  • Riverview Practice (Wick): 52 per cent
  • The Pearson Practice (Wick): 90 per cent
  • Thurso and Halkirk Medical Practice: 85 per cent

Full details are published on the Public Health Scotland website.

Dr Ewen Pearson, of the Pearson Practice in Wick, said: "We are delighted with the results of the survey, especially during the difficult times of the pandemic. It shows the immense hard work of the whole practice team, manager, reception/admin, our nurse and the support staff, for example physio.

"From a county-wide perspective it is clear that NHS Highland has a lot of work to do and it may be worth them looking at the more successful practices to see if lessons can be learned. We also feel that our patients should have equal rights and access to all support services, such as mental health, which sadly is not currently the case."

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