AN inquiry is being held into how GP practices are run in Buckinghamshire, after concerns were raised about inconsistencies across the service.
There are 55 practices across the county from remote villages to densely populated urban areas, which results in variations in waiting times for an appointment and getting advice by phone.
Buckinghamshire County Council's Health and Adult Social Select Committee will conduct the inquiry to address the inconsistencies in the service.
Lin Hazell, committee chairman, said: "Ninety per cent of patient contacts in the NHS are managed in general practice, and overall there are high levels of public satisfaction with these services national and locally. "However, GPs are experiencing increasing demand for their services, and patient experience between practices in some cases varies greatly. We need to better understand the situation locally and contribute to the debate on future service provision".
The committee, which is made up of elected county and district councillors, aims to contribute to the new Primary Care Strategy being developed by the local NHS.
As part of the inquiry, committee members will be visiting various GP practices to better understand the issues and the demands on the service. The inquiry group would also like to hear from anyone who has recently tried to access GP services, and where their experience either exceeded or did not meet expectations.
Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing to HASC GP Service Inquiry, Scrutiny Team, Ground Floor, County Hall, Walton Street, Aylesbury, HP20 1UA. Responses should clearly state which GP practice is being commented on, and approximately how recently the service was experienced and should be sent before September.
Information about the inquiry can be found at www.buckscc.gov.uk/scrutiny.
A final report will be published in late November.