GOK why MSF and PSQ are being used for SGPs

20th July 2009 by NASGP

NASGP member John Pike has written a comprehensive document on the problems relating to Multi Source Feedback and Patient Satisfaction Questionnaires with specific reference to their use with Sessional GPs.

We’re inviting our members to contribute to this evolving document which cab be downloaded from our main website. Here’s the executive summary:

  • A patient satisfaction survey giving timely feedback to the doctor should be helpful for his personal reflection and for discussion at appraisal, but
  • Patient-satisfaction surveys and MSF tools are not sufficiently robust for revalidation
  • Neither of the two patient satisfaction tools currently used for the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF) has been formally assessed for reliability and their validation has been sub-optimal
  • Currently used Patient Satisfaction Surveys and MSF are subjective and subject to huge elements of bias and to many variables outside the doctor’s control
  • They are therefore unethical
  • Some studies have shown no benefit, and even adverse results, from the use of MSFs
  • A large study of a patient satisfaction survey used in Australia showed that it did not help GPs to improve patient-satisfaction over a nine year period
  • Any tool used must be useful to GPs, helping GPs to improve their practice
  • Any tool used must be acceptable to all GPs using it and GPs must have confidence in it
  • Qualitative feedback is an essential part of any survey but commercial companies are not qualified to interpret it
  • Qualitative feedback should be given to the GP at the end of each day for his own personal reflection and for later discussion at appraisal
  • The GP concerned (perhaps with help from an appraisal discussion) is the only person qualified to interpret, and to reflect on, the results of Patient-Satisfaction Surveys and of MSF regarding himself.
  • Different tools may be needed for regular members of a practice and for locum GPs

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