Contract and ownership type of general practices and patient experience in England: multilevel analysis of a national cross-sectional survey.


Cowling, TE; Laverty, AA; Harris, MJ; Watt, HC; Greaves, F; Majeed, A; (2017) Contract and ownership type of general practices and patient experience in England: multilevel analysis of a national cross-sectional survey. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 110 (11). pp. 440-451. ISSN 0141-0768 DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/0141076817738499

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Abstract

Objective To examine associations between the contract and ownership type of general practices and patient experience in England. Design Multilevel linear regression analysis of a national cross-sectional patient survey (General Practice Patient Survey). Setting All general practices in England in 2013-2014 ( n = 8017). Participants 903,357 survey respondents aged 18 years or over and registered with a general practice for six months or more (34.3% of 2,631,209 questionnaires sent). Main outcome measures Patient reports of experience across five measures: frequency of consulting a preferred doctor; ability to get a convenient appointment; rating of doctor communication skills; ease of contacting the practice by telephone; and overall experience (measured on four- or five-level interval scales from 0 to 100). Models adjusted for demographic and socioeconomic characteristics of respondents and general practice populations and a random intercept for each general practice. Results Most practices had a centrally negotiated contract with the UK government ('General Medical Services' 54.6%; 4337/7949). Few practices were limited companies with locally negotiated 'Alternative Provider Medical Services' contracts (1.2%; 98/7949); these practices provided worse overall experiences than General Medical Services practices (adjusted mean difference -3.04, 95% CI -4.15 to -1.94). Associations were consistent in direction across outcomes and largest in magnitude for frequency of consulting a preferred doctor (-12.78, 95% CI -15.17 to -10.39). Results were similar for practices owned by large organisations (defined as having ≥20 practices) which were uncommon (2.2%; 176/7949). Conclusions Patients registered to general practices owned by limited companies, including large organisations, reported worse experiences of their care than other patients in 2013-2014.

Item Type: Article
Faculty and Department: Faculty of Public Health and Policy > Dept of Health Services Research and Policy
PubMed ID: 29096580
URI: http://researchonline.lshtm.ac.uk/id/eprint/4645426

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