Monitor has published their review of how GP services are working for patients, with a specific focus on the role of choice and competition.
The review uses evidence from a survey of 3,200 patients, 25 GP provider interviews and information from NHS England, CQC and other stakeholders.
The review found that a third of people are dissatisfied with availability of appointments at their GP and almost half struggle to book an out of hours appointment.
In response to the report and patient survey results, our Chair, Anna Bradley, said:
"It's great to hear that so many people are generally happy with the standard of their GP surgery. However, it is still disappointing that at least a third of people are struggling to access appointments.
"Monitor's findings are consistent with local Healthwatch research into primary care, which found that a lack of evening appointments and difficulty booking telephone appointments often act as barriers to patients booking a GP appointment when they would like, with a doctor of their choice.
"We know that as well as being frustrating for patients this also often means that people think their only other option is to visit A&E, which puts additional pressure on other parts of the system.
"It is important that access to GP appointments is improved so that all people can access the appointments they need and receive the healthcare they are entitled to. In addition, information about alternative services on offer, such as out of hours GP services, NHS 111 and online booking, must be made clearer and readily available so people know all the options available to them."