Devon, Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly are the best places in England to visit the GP, according to a new analysis of data from NHS England’s GP Patient Survey by Independent Age. The analysis, which looked at all age groups, supports the launch of a new free Wise Guide entitled “Your health and the NHS”, which provides advice to patients about how to get the NHS care they need as they grow older.

The figures, taken from the latest GP Patient Survey, reveal that in England:

  • Devon, Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly came out on top in 19 out of the 26 questions evaluated by Independent Age, including the best overall experience, with nine in 10 (91%) of those questioned rating their GP surgery good or very good.
  • A large majority of patients in Devon, Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly rated their GP good or very good at listening (91%), explaining tests and treatments (86%), involving the patient in decisions about care (79%) and treating the patient with care and concern (87%).
  • For the shortest waiting time at a surgery, patients should head to Durham, Darlington & Tees, where almost three-quarters (71%) waited for less than 15 minutes before their appointment.
  • In contrast, fewer than three in five (58%) Londoners usually had less than 15 minutes to wait for their appointment.
  • The best place to go for out-of-hours care is the North West, with over three-quarters (77%) of patients in Lancashire, Cheshire, Warrington & the Wirral rating their overall experience of their GP’s out-of-hours service as very or fairly good.
  • For the fastest care from the out-of-hours service, patients should head to Lancashire, where almost three-quarters (71%) gave it the highest rating.

The new analysis also reveals that in England:

  • Patients had the most confidence and trust in their out-of-hours clinician in Cheshire, Warrington & the Wirral; Devon, Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly; and Lancashire, with over four in five (86%) patients in these areas saying they had confidence and trust in their clinician.
  • More than four in five (85%) patients in Merseyside rated their out-of-hours service as very or fairly easy to contact by phone.
  • Patients in Devon, Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly were the most likely to be able to get a same-day appointment with their GP (44%) and felt that during their appointment with the GP they were given enough time (90%).
  • Seven in 10 (71%) patients in Devon, Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly said they “definitely” had confidence and trust in their GP and more than four in five (85%) would recommend their GP surgery.


Simon Bottery, Director of Policy and External Relations at Independent Age, comments, “It’s fantastic to see that GP patients in Devon, Cornwall & the Isles of Scilly feel they’re getting such a good service at their GP surgery. We’d like all patients to be happy with their GP services and with the service they’re getting from the NHS in general, especially older people, who are the greatest users of the NHS. That’s why Independent Age is launching a new free Wise Guide, “Your health and the NHS”, to help older people navigate the NHS and get the care they need.”

The figures have been released to support the launch of Independent Age’s new free Wise Guide. “Your health and the NHS” is the fifth Wise Guide produced by Independent Age to provide straightforward advice for older people. It’s packed full of helpful tips, contact numbers and valuable insights to help patients find their way around the NHS and know what they’re entitled to and who to ask. The guide covers topics such as GP appointments, pharmacy care, A&E and hospital visits.

Anyone in the UK can order a free copy of “Your health and the NHS” or any of the other Independent Age Wise Guides by calling Freephone 0800 319 6789 or ordering online. The Wise Guides are also all available to download for free via our website.

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