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Health Centres And Surgeries

Volume 928: debated on Thursday 17 March 1977

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asked the Secretary of State for Social Services if he will set up an independent inquiry to compare consumer satisfaction among NHS patients attending health centres with that among NHS patients attending general practitioner surgeries.

No. Facilities for general medical practice at health centres have much in common with those offered by primary care teams practising from purpose-built premises provided by the practitioners. Any variation of substance between one group practice and another is likely to result from individual differences in the personalities and working arrangements of the members of the primary care teams.My Department is financing several studies of the operation of health centres, and some small scale local surveys have been published. The reports which I have so far received indicate, inter alia, that most patients consider the health centre an improvement on their doctors' previous accommodation. In addition, my Department, in conjunction with the Scottish Home and Health Department and the Welsh Office, has asked the Social Survey Division of the Office of Population Censuses and Surveys (OPCS) to carry out, on our behalf, a household survey to examine patients' experiences of and views about access to primary health care services which will include services provided from all types of premises.