Bristol Uni GP Practice Research

Seeing a named family doctor can help improve a patients' health, research by Bristol Uni suggests.


Patients are more likely to share problems with a GP who they know well, according to the new study. Despite the advantage of seeing one GP, one in four patients find it difficult to see the doctor of their choice, the researchers said.

The authors, from the University of Bristol, said that seeing the same GP is thought to be important in ensuring quality of patient care, as the doctor will have better knowledge of the patient's history and medications.

The researchers collated data from 22 practices in the Bristol area, recording consultations between 190 patients and 30 GPs. They examined whether the number of issues raised were affected by the continuity of seeing just one doctor. The authors found that patients were more likely to raise a health problem with a doctor they've seen over time and have built-up a relationship with.

Almost a third of patients were deemed to have a ``deep'' relationship with their GP. These patients were more likely than others to raise problems and issues with their general practitioner.

On average, those close to their family doctor raised 0.5 more problems - an issue requiring a decision or diagnosis - and 0.9 more issues - the number of topics raised within each problem, such as symptoms.

Dr Matthew Ridd, from Bristol University's School of Social and Community Medicine, said:

"Participants mostly reported a strong relationship with their GP, built-up over time. There was evidence that patients raised more problems and issues with GPs that they felt they had a deep relationship with. This could be because patients feel more comfortable raising additional issues with a GP they feel they know well, or because more issues can be addressed within the time available as the GP knows the patient and their medical history.

This research study is the first of its kind to show how seeing the same doctor can positively affect consultations.''

Recently Played Tracks

On Radio: Early Breakfast with Lucy Ellis

4am - 6am

Email the show

Text 'HEART' to 82122

Early Breakfast with Lucy Ellis

Stay tuned...

Watch heart TV

  • Now playing: The best feel good music

Heart VIP


Autumn Weather

Find your local four day weather report here.

Listening To Radio Win With Heart

Make Heart the soundtrack to your day and you could be a winner with great prizes up for grabs throughout the day.

Follow Heart on Twitter