Frequently asked questions

Why was I sent a questionnaire?

You are eligible to take part in the GP Patient Survey if you have a valid NHS number, have been registered with a GP practice continuously for at least 6 months, and are 16 years of age or over. However, as it is not possible to interview everyone to take part in GPPS, a random sample of patients is selected to represent all patients from a practice. About 2.3 million patients registered with a GP in England have been selected this year. By using a random sample, each patient has an equal chance of selection, allowing us to make inferences about the practice as a whole (or about particular patient groups).

The random sampling uses the full list of patients registered with a GP. For each year of the survey, the anonymous patient data set is sorted within each practice by gender then age band, and the required number of patients per practice is selected on a ‘1 in n’ basis, so everyone has an equal probability of being selected.

Why haven’t I received a questionnaire? How do I get one?

The questionnaire is being sent to a random selection of people who are registered with a GP in England. To ensure the survey is valid, Ipsos MORI cannot send questionnaires to people who have not already been selected at random to take part in the survey.

I am not registered with a GP at the moment, should I still complete the questionnaire?

This survey is being sent to people who have been registered with a GP practice in the last six months. So if you were registered with a practice during that period, even if you are not now, you may still complete the questionnaire. Please answer the questions about the practice you were registered with during that period (or most of that period) for the questions asking about your GP practice. However, for questions about general practice appointments (or other services), please think about anywhere where you have had a general practice appointment. This could be any general practice location, such as GP practices, or on other premises such as in "GP hubs" or health centres.

I have not contacted my GP recently, should I still complete the questionnaire?

Yes, you can still complete the questionnaire. If a question does not apply to you please select 'Doesn’t apply' (where included) or leave blank. We have also included routing instructions which will help you avoid answering questions not relevant to you.

My last GP appointment was with a locum – can I still complete the questionnaire?

Yes, you can still complete the questionnaire. Most questions are about general practice services as a whole, this includes appointments with a GP, nurse or other healthcare professional.

Who should I contact if I don’t want to take part?

Taking part is completely voluntary, but we hope you will take part as this will give us the best possible picture of people’s experiences when they visit or contact their GP practice.

If you do not want to receive any reminders about this survey, please send back a blank questionnaire in the freepost envelope provided. Alternatively, you can contact Ipsos MORI’s survey helpline on Freephone 0800 819 9135 (8am to 9pm Monday to Friday; 10am to 5pm on Saturdays) or email Ipsos MORI at

Please be ready to provide your survey number, which is located on the top of the letter and on the questionnaire.

Why have I received another questionnaire that asks similar questions?

There may be other surveys asking about similar things, but they are not directly related to the GP Patient Survey. We would still be grateful if you could take the time to fill this one in and return it to us.

Do you contact people in any other way to take part in the survey?

The GP Patient Survey is a voluntary survey that we send out by post. You can complete the survey online or by calling our telephone helpline. You may receive text message or email reminders inviting you to take part in the survey, but no-one will approach you at home or call you by telephone to ask you to complete the survey. Of course, there will be a range of other surveys run by Ipsos MORI or other research companies at any one time, some of which may ask similar questions to those within this survey. If someone does say they are calling or visiting you specifically asking you to complete the ‘GP Patient Survey,’ we strongly recommend that you do not speak to them or let them into your home, and that you contact the police.

If you have any further questions about the survey, you can contact the Ipsos MORI survey helpline on Freephone 0800 819 9135 (8am to 9pm Monday to Friday; 10am to 5pm on Saturdays).

How much are calls to 0800 numbers?

Since July 2015, all calls to 0800 telephone numbers are free when made from a standard UK landline phone or mobile.