The latest scathing review came in the 2021/22 Health and Care Experience Survey.
Patients at GP surgeries across Scotland were asked for their experiences of accessing and using their GP practice and other local healthcare services; receiving care, support and help with everyday living; and caring responsibilities. A section was also added in relation to Covid-19 to the 2021/22 survey.
In Lanark, when asked how easy it was to contact their practice, there was an 82 per cent negative score compared to Biggar, where the score was 81 per cent positive.
As for being able to speak to a GP, the score in Lanark was 70 per centre negative, compared to Biggar’s 62 per cent positive rating. And overall, the Lanark practice scored a 70 per cent negative score, compared to Biggar’s 70 per cent positive one.
The survey is run in partnership by the Scottish Government and Public Health Scotland.
Its results did not come as a shock to Clydesdale MSP Mairi McAllan, who has been calling for improvements.
She said: “The results are disturbing but not surprising as they reflect discussions my office are regularly having with constituents.
“Since being elected in 2021, I have been doing what I can to help – working individually with a range of constituents and the Patient Participation Group, as well as calling on NHS Lanarkshire to oversee urgent improvements, particularly to the telephone and appointments system.
“There is no doubt that GPs, and our health service generally, are under unprecedented pressure but, as the survey results show, positive patient experience appears particularly low at Woodstock.
“My constituents are upset and I expect staff at Woodstock feel increasingly demoralised, so it is in everyone’s interests to repair this.
“Having exhausted other means, on May 16, I raised constituents’ concerns at the very top of NHS Lanarkshire and made a number of calls including that NHS Lanarkshire urgently prioritise Woodstock within the roll out of a new IT appointment system and that they develop a Strategic Improvement Plan.
“I have not yet received a response but will continue to ask for this and to work with all involved for a resolution.”
Alistair MacKintosh, NHS Lanarkshire primary care manager, said the team at Woodstock Medical Centre was working extremely hard to provide a high level of care.
He continued: “NHS Lanarkshire remains committed to working alongside Lanarkshire Medical Group (LMG) to provide a sustainable and effective service to the people of Lanark. However, we do recognise there are still challenges to overcome.
“LMG continues to make a number of improvements although, as a result of other pressures, these improvements have not necessarily always clearly translated into improved patient experience.
“Woodstock Medical Practice has not only stabilised its practice team with GP continuity, but it has also expanded with additional staff. As a result, it is currently averaging 87 appointments per 1000 patients which is above the current minimum requirement recommendation.”