Most Scots service users happy with care experience

A survey of over 100,000 people has found that the majority of GP patients and social care users report a positive experience of their care. However, an overarching finding was that respondents were slightly less positive about GP and out of hours services than in the previous survey in 2011/12.

Results of the 2013/14 Health and Care Experience Survey were released today by Scotland’s Chief Statistician. The survey asked respondents to feed back their experiences of their GP practices and out of hours care. The survey also asked about experiences of social care services and asked specific questions of those with caring responsibilities.

Care and Treatment

As in the previous survey, patients were generally positive about the actual care and treatment they received at GP practices (87% of patients rated their overall experience of care by the GP surgery as excellent or good), with practice nurses getting particularly positive results.

Medication was another area where responses were notably positive. The four most positively answered questions relating to GP care were all in relation to medicines.

The most negative finding for GP practices related to dealing with mistakes when they occurred. Two out of every five patients that experienced a mistake in their care were not satisfied with how it was dealt with.


Accessing GP services continues to be an area of concern for respondents. Four of the five most negatively answered GP questions related to issues of access. These include being able to get through on the phone and being able to speak to a doctor or nurse within 2 working days.

Positive ratings for overall arrangements to see a doctor fell to 72%. This is down 3 percentage points from the previous survey and follows a 6 percentage point decrease from the 2009/10 survey.

Out of Hours Care

Similar to other areas of the survey, results for out of hours questions are slightly less positive than in the previous survey. The overall rating of out of hours care has fallen slightly from 72% positive in 2011/12 to 71% in this survey.

The most positively rated out of hours service were Ambulance/Paramedics, who received the highest positive results for each of the questions relating to out of hours care.

Social Care

A notable finding was that many respondents who receive help and support for everyday living receive this outwith formal services. 41% of respondents indicated that the help they received did not come from formal services.

Respondents who did use formal care services were positive about the care and support that they received; 84 per cent of respondents rated the overall help, care or support services as either excellent or good.

Users of care services were least positive about coordination of health and care services; 80% reported that services were well coordinated.


Around 15 per cent of respondents indicated that they look after or provide regular help or support to others. Of these almost 1 in 3 provided more than 50 hours care a week, a significant time commitment.

Those providing more hours of care were more negative about the balance of caring in their lives, being able to spend time with others and the impact of caring on their wellbeing compared to those providing fewer hours. However they were more positive than other groups about being able to influence services provided for the cared for person.

The figures released this week were produced by independent statistical staff free from any political interference, in accordance with professional standards set out in the Code of Practice for Official Statistics.

To download the survery, visit: