OXFORDSHIRE is one of the best areas in the country for GP surgeries, new research shows.

A study from law firm Simpson Millar looked at the latest inspection reports from the Care Quality Commission, the independent regulator for health and social care in England, and compared it with Google reviews of more than 850 different GP practices in 21 towns and cities.

After each inspection the commission produces a report including ratings, which show their overall judgement of the quality of care.

The research aimed at finding correlation between how the general public rate their GP surgery, and how official bodies rate the services that are being provided to patients.

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It found that practices in Oxfordshire have an average Google review rating of 3.29 out of 5. According to the commission, only 5 per cent of surgeries were rated ‘outstanding’ in their last inspection and another five per cent were given ‘inadequate’ or ‘requires improvement’ ratings.

The best rated surgeries include Bampton Surgery, Woodstock Surgery and Jericho Health Centre – all three received ‘good’ as a rating from the commission and Google reviews ranging from 4.2 to 4.6.

However, Oxfordshire seems to be one of the exceptions as the study generally shows disparity between patient expectations and experiences and official service standard reports.

The commission determined that nine in 10 GP practices around the country are performing well, but the public reviews indicate that that nine in 10 GP practices are not offering a service of a standard that patients would consider to be particularly good.

Ian Clifton, medical negligence solicitor at Simpson Millar, said: “GP surgeries are a vital front line of defence for people. We believe they should be adequately funded, and support should be made available to implement changes as needed following CQC inspections.  

“It is great to see many GP surgeries being rated well, despite the challenges of the last few years.   

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“It is also clear that many practices haven’t been inspected in some time though. Perhaps due to the Covid-19 pandemic, more than eight in ten of the GPs we analysed have not been inspected in person since March 2020.

“If we compare their official ratings with online patient reviews it is clear that there is some disparity in several towns and cities.  

“While an inadequate rating doesn’t necessarily equate to poor patient care, where there is a concern regarding safety and leadership capability it does suggest that there are risks to those who rely on those GP Surgeries.

“Sadly, failings in care at GP surgeries can have a devastating impact on patients. Where failings are identified, it is our opinion that lessons learnt should be shared across all surgeries to protect patients.”