Local Patient Participation Report by bvXADQR3

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									             BECCLES MEDICAL CENTRE
Local Patient Participation Report (PRG) 2011-2012

This report summarises development and outcomes of Beccles Medical Centre’s Patient Reference
Group (PRG) in 2011/12.

It contains:
            1.   Profile of the practice population and PRG
            2.   The process used to recruit to our PRG
            3.   The Priorities for the survey and how they were agreed them.
            4.   The method and results of the Patient Survey
            5.   The Action Plan that was agreed and how it was agreed
            6.   The progress made with the action plan

1. Profile of the practice population and PRG

Practice Population Summary

The total population of Beccles Medical Centre as at June 2011, when the PRG was started, was
20,095 patients.

Age        0-4      5-16     17-     25-34 35-44     45-64     55-64    65-74    75-84 85-      90+
                             24                                                        89
Males   494         1309     856     914    1268     1349      1450     1222     769   192      72
Females 461         1247     827     881    1277     1362      1478     1294     924   282      167
Total   955         2556     1683    1795   2545     2711      2928     2516     1693 474       239

%          4.7%     12.7%    8.4%    8.9%   12.7%    13.5%     14.6%    12.5%    8.4%    2.4%   1.2%

Ethnicity
99% of the practice population are British or other White ethnic background
Less than 1% are Black or Mixed Black ethnic background
Less than 1% are Asian or Mixed Asian ethnic background
(figures are based on those patients who have responded to a question about ethnicity)

Employment
We do not routinely ask patients for their employment status so are not able to profile the
employment status of the practice population with any accuracy.

Chronic disease
28% of the practice population suffer from one or more chronic disease such as asthma, hypertension
or diabetes.
PRG Profile
When the patient survey was sent out, our patient reference group contained 71 people. Current
membership stands at 88 members. The profile of those 88 members is as follows:

Age
17-24      25-34       35-44         45-54      55-64   65-74       75-84      85+
1          4           7             15         20      29          10         2
1.1%       4.5%        7.9%          17.1%      22.7%   33.0%       11.4%      2.3%

Ethnicity
97% of the PRG are British or other White ethnic background
1% of the PRG are Black or Mixed Black ethnic background
2% of the PRG are Asian or Mixed Asian ethnic background

Regular users of the practice
52% said they visit the practice regularly
43% said they visit the practice occasionally
5% said they visit the practice very rarely

Email addresses/post
91% of the group have an email address and wish to be contacted that way
9% of the group prefer to be contacted by post


2. The process used to recruit to our PRG

In order to recruit to our PRG we:

       Put up Posters in Practice see (appendix 1)
       Displayed leaflets in the reception and waiting areas. These leaflets gave information about
        the group (appendix 2) and asked patients to complete a contact form if they were interested
        in joining the group (appendix 3)
       Passed out leaflets during various clinics such as baby clinics
       Put the same information and contact form on the practice website
       Wrote to patients who might be encouraged to join the group, whose names were given to us
        by other members of the group (appendix 4)

The leaflets and information given out contained answers to questions patients might have in
advance of joining the group.

The contact form asked for information on age and ethnicity to help us try to achieve a representative
membership.

Building the group is an on-going process. Posters are still displayed at the practice, information on
how to join is still displayed on the website and we continue to invite new members to join the group.
3. The Priorities for the survey and how they were agreed.

In order to determine the priorities for the survey we:

          Sent a welcome letter to new members of the PRG by email or post (appendix 5)

          Discussed the priorities at the PPG meeting of Tuesday 2nd August 2011

The letters asked patients to select areas they felt were important to include in the survey and how
long they felt the survey should be.


4. The method and results of the Patient Survey

Once we had established the priorities for the survey, we then developed the questions to be used. A
copy of the survey can be seen in appendix 6, which is also a summary of the results. A copy of the
form was emailed or sent to each member of the PRG. Members of the patient participation group
handed out copies of the form over a two week period in November 2011.

Survey Results
647 surveys were completed. Results were collated in-house. A summary of the results was sent to
each member of the PRG (appendix 6), together with a letter explaining areas of note (appendix 7).


5. The Action Plan that was agreed and how it was agreed

The partners and management of the practice met to discuss the results of the patient survey on
January 17th 2012. A draft action plan was devised at that meeting.

In order to get comments from the PRG on the draft Action Plan we emailed the PRG on 30 th January
2012 with the summary of the survey results and comments, together with our draft plan, appendix 7.
We also met with the PPG on 7th February 2012 and agreed the action plan.

We received no negative responses to the plan from the PRG, or suggestions of any other priorities
we had missed.

The final action plan can be seen in appendix 8.

There were no areas where we could not aim to achieve what the PRG wanted, however, increasing
clinical appointments depends on our ability to recruit additional GPs.

Another area of concern for us is the aim to reduce queues at reception. During the coming year our
reception area is being rebuilt and long-term this will help our staff work on the reception area, but
while the work is in progress, conditions will be difficult, with a temporary reception area in place.
The plans are not yet definite, but may result in back office staff being temporarily separate from
reception. Conditions may be difficult during this period.

There were no points in the action plan that needed agreement with the PCT.


6. The progress made with the action plan as at 31st March 2012

You Said..                      We did..                           The result is..
Have internet appointment       We do have this available,         We expect to see the numbers
and prescription requests       however, it seems that we          of people using this service
available.                      have not advertised this           increase over the next few
                                sufficiently for all patients to   months, but it is too early to
                                be aware of the service.           audit results as yet.
                                We have printed and have had
                                delivered to all homes in the
                                Beccles, Worlingham and
                                Gillingham areas, an
                                information leaflet which
                                includes information on
                                internet appointment booking
                                and prescription requests.
Improving response times to     The practice will utilise          We will re-audit this in the
telephone calls                 equipment that monitors            next patient survey to see if
                                telephone traffic over the         patients are happier with the
                                month of April. From that we       response times after we have
                                will re-organise staffing to       made improvements.
                                provide additional access to
                                phones at peak times
Asking patients why they        Staff no longer ask patients       This should save time on the
require an appointment          why they need to see the GP,       phones as well as being
                                unless the request is an urgent    something patients prefer.
                                one.
Avoiding queues at reception    The results of the survey have     We do not expect to achieve a
                                been discussed with staff, as      significantly better service until
                                has the action plan. Staff will    the new reception area is
                                assist at reception wherever       completed.
                                possible.
Increasing the number of        We have advertised for 2 new       We will only be able to provide
clinical appointments           GPs for the practice. One has      additional appointments when
                                been appointed and will start      we have additional clinical
                                in July 2012. We are awaiting      staff.
                                for a response to the 2nd
                                advert.
Appendix 1 - Waiting room poster
Appendix 2 - Leaflets inviting participation of the reference group

               BECCLES MEDICAL CENTRE




                  PATIENT REFERENCE GROUP


Would you like to have a say about the services
provided at Beccles Medical Centre???


In conjunction with our Patient Participation Group we are in the process of
setting up a Patient Reference Group [PRG] and are looking to recruit patients
who would like to play an active part in helping to make decisions about the
range and quality of services we offer.

Ideally this will be a ‘virtual’ group which would mean most communication is
carried out by e-mail, thus allowing members to contribute to discussions
within their own time. However if members do not have access to e-mail we can
correspond in writing.

We are encouraging patients to give their views about how the practice is doing
and would like to be able to ask the opinions of as many patients as possible.
If you are interested in joining our Patient Reference Group, please complete the
enclosed slip and return it to reception. Upon receipt your details will be added
to our contact list and we will be in touch with you in due course with further
information.

With thanks for your time

Alison Arnold
Patient Services Manager


Frequently asked questions:

Q       Why are you asking people for their contact details?
A       We would like to be able to contact people occasionally to ask them questions about the surgery and
        how well we are doing to identify areas for improvement

Q       Will my Doctor see this information?
A       This information is purely to contact patients to ask them questions about the surgery, how well we are
        doing and ensure changes that are being made are patient focused. If your doctor is responsible for
        making some of the changes in the surgery they might see general feedback from patients.

Q       Will the questions you ask me be medical or personal?
A       We will only ask general questions about the practice, such as short questionnaires.

Q       Who else will be able to access my contact details?
A       Your contact details will be kept safely and securely and will only be used for this purpose and will not
        be shared with anyone else.

Q       How often will you contact me?
A       Not very often. Once or twice a year or more frequently if there is something on which we need the
        views of our patients.

Q       What is a Patient Participation Group?
A       This is a group of volunteer patients who are involved in making sure the surgery provides the services
        it’s patients need.

Q       Do I have to leave my contact details?
A       No, but if you change your mind, please let us know.

Q       What if I no longer wish to be on the contact list or I leave the surgery?
A       If you do not wish to receive further messages please just let us know and we will take your name off
        our contact list.



                                     St Mary’s Road Beccles Suffolk NR34 9NX
                                      Tel (01502) 712662 Fax (01502) 712906
                                             www.becclesmedical.co.uk
July 2011
Appendix 3 – contact form
                       BECCLES MEDICAL CENTRE
                               St Mary’s Road Beccles Suffolk NR34 9NX
                                Tel (01502) 712662 Fax (01502) 712906
                                       www.becclesmedical.co.uk




                        PATIENT REFERENCE GROUP
If you would like to have a say about the services provided at Beccles Medical Centre and are
interested in joining our Patient Reference Group please provide your details on this slip,
return this to reception and we will add your name to our contact list.

Name:
Email address:
Telephone Number:
Address:




To enable us to ensure that we try to speak to a representative sample of the patients that are
registered at this practice please supply the information on the reverse of this form:-

Are You?              Male          Female 

Your Age Group        Under 16                     17 – 24         
                      25 – 34                      35 – 44         
                      45 – 54                      55 – 64         
                      65 – 74                      75 - 84         
                      Over 84        

Your Ethnic Origin:
White British
□ British      □ Irish
□ Any other White background:        please state ____________________
Mixed
□ White & Black Caribbean     □ White & Black African
□ White & Asian
□ Any other mixed background:        please state ____________________
Asian or Asian British
□ Indian       □ Pakistani    □ Bangladeshi
□ Any other Asian background:        please state ____________________

Black or Black British
□ Caribbean     □ African
□ Any other Black background:                         please state ____________________

Chinese or other ethnic group
□ Chinese
□ Any other ethnic group:                             please state ____________________

How often do you come to the Practice?
Regularly            
Occasionally         
Very rarely          

Thank you
Alison Arnold – Patient Services Manager

Please note that no medical information or questions will be responded to.
The information you supply us will be used lawfully, in accordance with the Data Protections Act 1998. The Data & Protection Act 1998 gives you the
right to know what information is held about you, and sets our rules to make sure that this information is handled properly.
Appendix 4 - Invitation letter


           BECCLES MEDICAL CENTRE
                    Dr E K Bungay Dr G W Collins Dr T J Morton Dr P S Berry Dr R L Kathuria
                     Dr P L Harrold Dr I Nnene Dr J Loughridge Dr C Moloney Dr C Wiggins
                             St Mary’s Road Beccles Suffolk NR34 9NX
                              Tel (01502) 712662 Fax (01502) 712906
                                     www.becclesmedical.co.uk


2nd August 2011

Name
Address


Dear ………….

Patient Reference Group

We are currently setting up a Patient Reference Group which is representative of our Practice
population where members will be given the opportunity to suggest positive ideas and voice
concerns about new and existing services. Initially one of the key areas where we will be
requiring involvement is our patients survey, for example:- What subjects do you consider
most important? How do you think the survey should look? Based on the results what
action do you think we should take?

Your name has been put forward as a possible member and we would like to invite you to
become part of this group. The aim is for this to be a ‘virtual’ group which communicates
mostly by email although we do want to encourage a wide range of patients to become part
of this group so even if you don’t use email we can write to you instead!

I enclose a leaflet about the Patient Reference Group and if you think this is something you
would like to be part of please complete and return the application from to me at the surgery.

I look forward to hearing from you.

With thanks and kind regards


Alison Arnold [Mrs]
Patient Services Manager

enc
Appendix 5 - Welcome letter


              BECCLES MEDICAL CENTRE
                      Dr E K Bungay Dr G W Collins Dr T J Morton Dr P S Berry Dr R L Kathuria
                       Dr P L Harrold Dr I Nnene Dr J Loughridge Dr C Moloney Dr C Wiggins
                               St Mary’s Road Beccles Suffolk NR34 9NX
                                Tel (01502) 712662 Fax (01502) 712906
                                       www.becclesmedical.co.uk


11th August 2011

Dear Patient

Welcome to our Patient Reference Group

We would like to welcome you as a member of Beccles Medical Centre Patient Reference Group and
we hope that this group will be beneficial to both the Practice and our patients. If you have given us
an email address we will be communicating with you via the following address which has been set up
specifically for use by PRG members:- gyw-pct.BecclesPRG@nhs.net If you do not have internet
facility we will correspond by post.

The first area that we would like to focus on is our in-house patient survey. We are now in the stages
of planning this and to ensure we ask the right questions we would like to know what you think
should be our key priorities when it comes to looking at the service we provide to you and others
registered at the Practice.

What do you think are the most important issues on which we should consult our patients? For
example, which of the following would you like to see featured in our survey? [Please tick boxes]

Clinical Care                           
Appointments                            
Reception Issues                        
Communication                           
Premises & Environment                  
Any other suggestions                   …………………………………………………………………

How long do you think the survey should be? [double sided sheets]

2 – 4 pages                             
4 – 6 pages                             
6 – 8 pages                             

Once we have collated the information which you and the rest of the group has provided us with we
will use it to assist us in compiling a draft copy of the patient survey. We will be asking for your
opinion on this before finalising the document and undertaking the survey, which we are planning to
do in the autumn.
I would like to thank you for your time and look forward to hearing from you with your response to
the above by Wednesday 31st August 2011.

Kind regards

Alison

Alison Arnold [Mrs]
Patient Services Manager
Appendix 6 – letter re summary of results, areas of note and suggested action plan


            BECCLES MEDICAL CENTRE
                      Dr E K Bungay Dr G W Collins Dr T J Morton Dr P S Berry Dr R L Kathuria
                       Dr P L Harrold Dr I Nnene Dr J Loughridge Dr C Moloney Dr C Wiggins
                               St Mary’s Road Beccles Suffolk NR34 9NX
                                Tel (01502) 712662 Fax (01502) 712906
                                       www.becclesmedical.co.uk



30th January 2012

Dear Patient

PATIENT SURVEY SUMMARY – January 2012

Attached are the summarised results of the patient survey. We had an excellent response with 647
forms completed. Not everyone answered every question and some forms had more than one answer
to a question, so totals don’t always add up to 647.

AREAS OF NOTE

On-line appointment booking
3% of patients book appointments on-line, but 15% said they would like to be able to book on-line.
There were also comments that patients were not aware that on-line booking was available. That
suggests to us that we need to advertise the system more widely.

Telephone
34% of patients said they did not find it very easy to get through on the telephone. This is an area of
great concern to us, and one we realise will need to be addressed.

There were also a number of comments from patients which showed that many patients do not like
being asked by the staff for reasons why they require their appointments. There are a number of valid
reasons for doing this, for instance to decide who is the best person to see the patient, the patient’s
usual doctor or the emergency team. However there are obviously a significant number of patients
who do not like this system, so we would like to review our procedures.

Appointment availability
34% of patients said that they could not get a doctor’s appointment within 3 working days. Of that
34%, 37% said they were given a nurse practitioner appointment, but 53% said it was because there
were no appointments. The practice appreciates that we need more appointments and we have
recently advertised for an additional partner. We hope to be able to successfully appoint after
interviews.
We are disappointed to see that 25% of patients said they were unable to get an appointment with a
GP more than 2 weeks in advance. The practice has a policy of having appointments available 4
weeks ahead. This may happens sometimes because the usual doctor is away in the period the
appointment is required, but it should not be happening regularly. Half of that 25% could get an
appointment with a GP but not the GP of their choice or not at a suitable time.
80% of our patients prefer to see a particular doctor and many of those said they were usually able to
see that doctor.

Only 4% of patients found getting a nurse appointment difficult.

Clinicians
High levels of satisfaction were recorded with the care provided by the clinicians at the practice, with
only 2% of patients saying that overall they were dissatisfied.

Waiting times
9% of patients recorded having to wait more than 30 minutes, but the majority of patients were seen
between 0 and 20 minutes after their appointment time. While the clinicians always endeavour to
keep to time, it is very difficult to be sure how long it might take to deal with a patient’s problems,
and the comments from patients largely seemed to show that most patient’s accept that and are happy
to wait when necessary.

Surgery access and cleanliness
Very few patients have problems getting into the building and most found the buildings to be clean.
This was a very pleasing result as we are in the middle of a major building programme which at times
may restrict access and also gives considerable extra problems in keeping everywhere clean and tidy.

Receptionists and the reception area
79% of patients found our receptionists helpful, 2% said they were unhelpful, with 19% giving a fairly
neutral view. There were quite a lot of comments about the receptionists, often praising the staff,
although some patients found their experience varied depending on the receptionist.

There were also a few comments about the layout of the reception and how many staff are on hand to
help at reception. To a large extent this is dictated by the physical layout of the surgery and will
change soon with the building programme.

Overall
Overall 85% of patients said they were very satisfied with the care they receive from the surgery and
less than 1% were dissatisfied.

As a result of the survey and comments, we would like to produce an action plan to address the
following issues and improve patient satisfaction:
     Advertising and increasing the amount of on-line appointment booking
     Answering the telephone
     Asking patients the reasons why they require an appointment
     Avoiding queues at reception
     Increasing the number of clinical appointments
Please let us know if, as a result of the survey comments, you agree that the above points are those we
should concentrate on. Once we have received views, we will send you a copy of the action plan for
final agreement.

With thanks and kind regards

Alison

Alison Arnold
Patient Services Manager
Appendix 7 – summary of results

GP Patient Experience Survey
Total responses received                                  647

Section 1 – Communication and Appointments

How do you normally book your appointments to see a
                                                         Number   Percentage
doctor or nurse?
In person                                                 157       22.6%
By telephone                                              517       74.4%
Online                                                     21       3.0%
TOTAL                                                     695      100.0%
Which of the following methods would you prefer to use
to book appointments at our surgery?
In person                                                 131       17.9%
By telephone                                              406       55.6%
Online                                                    112       15.3%
No preference                                              81       11.1%
TOTAL                                                     730      100.0%
In the past 6 months, how easy have you found getting
through on the telephone?
Very easy                                                  65       10.1%
Okay                                                      326       50.6%
Not very easy                                             222       34.5%
Haven’t tried                                              31       4.8%
TOTAL                                                     644      100.0%
In the past 6 months, how easy have you found getting
advice from a doctor on the telephone?
Very easy                                                  98       15.5%
Okay                                                      166       26.2%
Not very easy                                              62       9.8%
Haven’t tried                                             308       48.6%
TOTAL                                                     634      100.0%
In the past 6 months, how easy have you found getting
test results on the telephone?
Very easy                                                 149       24.1%
Okay                                                      170       27.6%
Not very easy                                              30       4.9%
Haven’t tried                                             268       43.4%
TOTAL                                                     617      100.0%
If you have needed to see a doctor fairly quickly, could
you get an appointment in the next 3 working days??
Yes                                                        272   43.1%
No                                                         216   34.2%
Haven’t needed to                                          143   22.7%
TOTAL                                                      631   100.0%
If the answer to the previous question was ‘No’, why was
that?
Was given an appointment with a Nurse Practitioner
instead                                                    84    36.7%
I didn’t want to see that doctor                           11    4.8%
Appointment time didn’t suit me                            12    5.2%
No appointments                                            122   53.3%
TOTAL                                                      229   100.0%
If you saw a Nurse Practitioner instead of a doctor, how
well could she deal with your problem?
Very well                                                  273   56.4%
Okay                                                       188   38.8%
Poor                                                       23    4.8%
TOTAL                                                      484   100.0%
Last time you tried to, were you able to get an
appointment with a doctor more than 2 full weeks in
advance?
Yes                                                        374   74.2%
No                                                         130   25.8%
TOTAL                                                      504   100.0%
If your answer to Question 9 was ‘No’, why was that?
I could get an appointment, but not with the Doctor I
wanted to see                                              54    40.6%
I could get an appointment, but not at the time I wanted   11    8.3%
There were no appointments available                       68    51.1%
TOTAL                                                      133   100.0%
Is there a particular Doctor you prefer to see?
Yes                                                        493   79.8%
No                                                         125   20.2%
TOTAL                                                      618   100.0%
How often do you see the doctor you prefer to see?
Always or almost always                                441       71.9%
Some of the time                                       119       19.4%
Never or almost never                                   13       2.1%
Not tried                                               40       6.5%
TOTAL                                                  613      100.0%
How easy is it for you to get an appointment with a
Practice Nurse at our surgery?
Very easy                                              199       32.5%
Fairly easy                                            253       41.3%
Not very easy                                           27       4.4%
Haven’t tried                                          134       21.9%
TOTAL                                                  613      100.0%

Section 2 – Clinical Care - comments about
clinicians

How good was he/she about giving you enough time?     Number   Percentage
Very good                                              507       84.5%
Okay                                                    86       14.3%
Poor                                                    4        0.7%
Doesn’t apply                                           3        0.5%
TOTAL                                                  600      100.0%
How good was he/she at asking about your symptoms?
Very good                                              497       83.5%
Okay                                                    79       13.3%
Poor                                                    6        1.0%
Doesn’t apply                                           13       2.2%
TOTAL                                                  595      100.0%
How good was he/she about listening to you?
Very good                                              516       86.9%
Okay                                                    66       11.1%
Poor                                                    7        1.2%
Doesn’t apply                                           5        0.8%
TOTAL                                                  594      100.0%
How good was he/she about explaining things to you?
Very good                                                 490       83.3%
Okay                                                       85       14.5%
Poor                                                       5        0.9%
Doesn’t apply                                              8        1.4%
TOTAL                                                     588      100.0%
How good was he/she about involving you in decisions
about your care?
Very good                                                 416       71.0%
Okay                                                      120       20.5%
Poor                                                       6        1.0%
Doesn’t apply                                              44       7.5%
TOTAL                                                     586      100.0%
Did you have confidence and trust in the clinician you
saw?
Yes, definitely                                           606       86.2%
Yes, to some extent                                        90       12.8%
No, not at all                                             7        1.0%
TOTAL                                                     703      100.0%
How satisfied are you with the treatment you received
from the clinician at our surgery?
Very satisfied                                            490       84.6%
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied                         76       13.1%
Fairly dissatisfied                                        13       2.2%
TOTAL                                                     579      100.0%
Section 3 – Waiting Times and Reception Issues

How long after your appointment time do you normally
                                                         Number   Percentage
wait to be seen?
I am normally seen at my appointed time                    98       16.4%
Less than 10 minutes                                      138       23.0%
10 – 20 minutes                                           217       36.2%
20 – 30 minutes                                            91       15.2%
More than 30 minutes                                       55       9.2%
TOTAL                                                     599      100.0%
How do you feel about how long you normally have to
wait?
Happy to wait                                               269   46.0%
I don’t usually have to wait too long                       215   36.8%
I feel I do have to wait a bit too long                     101   17.3%
TOTAL                                                       585   100.0%
How easy do you find it to get into the building at our
surgery?
Very easy                                                   458   77.2%
Fairly easy                                                 114   19.2%
Not very easy                                               21    3.5%
TOTAL                                                       593   100.0%
How clean is our surgery?
Very clean                                                  465   79.1%
Fairly clean                                                120   20.4%
Not very clean                                               3    0.5%
TOTAL                                                       588   100.0%
How helpful do you find our reception staff?
Very helpful                                                468   78.8%
Neither helpful nor unhelpful                               113   19.0%
Not very helpful                                            13    2.2%
TOTAL                                                       594   100.0%
How satisfied are you with our repeat prescription
service?
Very satisfied                                              326   61.9%
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied                          162   30.7%
Fairly dissatisfied                                         39    7.4%
TOTAL                                                       527   100.0%
In general how satisfied are you with the care you get at
our surgery?
Very satisfied                                              502   85.4%
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied                          81    13.8%
Fairly dissatisfied                                          5    0.9%
TOTAL                                                       588   100.0%
Appendix 8 – Action Plan


           BECCLES MEDICAL CENTRE
                     Dr E K Bungay Dr G W Collins Dr T J Morton Dr P S Berry Dr R L Kathuria
                      Dr P L Harrold Dr I Nnene Dr J Loughridge Dr C Moloney Dr C Wiggins
                              St Mary’s Road Beccles Suffolk NR34 9NX
                               Tel (01502) 712662 Fax (01502) 712906
                                      www.becclesmedical.co.uk



14th February 2012

Dear Patient

PATIENT SURVEY ACTION PLAN

Last month we sent out the results of the patient survey. We listed areas of note and said that
as a result of the survey, we would like to produce an action plan to address the following
issues and improve patient satisfaction:
     Advertising and increasing the amount of on-line appointment booking
     Improving response times to telephone calls
     Asking patients the reasons why they require an appointment
     Avoiding queues at reception
     Increasing the number of clinical appointments

The results went out to patients in the Reference Group by email and were discussed at the
Patient Participation Group meeting on 7th February. The response has been positive with
agreement for an action plan to be produced covering the above areas.

Our suggested Action Plan is as follows:

Advertising and increasing the amount of on-line appointment booking
We plan to produce a newsletter and deliver to every home in Beccles and Gillingham. This
newsletter will give patients up to date information on a number of areas which will include
on-line prescription requests and on-line appointment booking.

Posters will be displayed in reception explaining that both are available and to ask at
reception for details.

Leaflets will be attached to repeat prescriptions giving the same information.

We will look at highlighting this information on our website
We are about to have a new patient information system installed in the surgery. This will be
a television display in the waiting rooms, giving information on various clinical areas,
seasonal information such as who should have the flu vaccines, and any surgery specific
information we wish to add. We will ensure that information about on-line appointment
booking is displayed on this system.

Improving response times to telephone calls
We plan to have a staff meeting to discuss with staff how we can improve our response times
to telephone calls.

We will investigate the use of telephone monitoring equipment which can assist us to identify
peaks and troughs and then plan more staff on at those times. We will then devise a staff rota
that makes more staff available to answer phones at peak times. Encouraging use of on-line
booking by the methods described above which may help reduce pressure on phones.

Asking patients the reasons why they require an appointment
This has been discussed in some depth. While some patients do not like being asked this
question, the reason for doing so is to ensure that patients see a clinician appropriately. For
instance, in an extreme example, a patient might simply ask for a GP appointment when they
have chest pains which need to be dealt with urgently. There is some concern that not asking
this question could lead to something urgent being missed. By asking the question we can
also direct the patient to the most appropriate clinician, for instance, a GP cannot undertake
most chronic disease checks in a 10 minute appointment where a nurse will have appropriate
length consultations.

We will trial a new system. We will continue to ask patients why they need to see a nurse, to
enable us to book the appropriate length of appointment. We will continue to ask patients
the reason if they ask for an urgent appointment, but we will no longer ask for the reason
when a routine GP appointment is requested. This will be reviewed after 3 months in case
the system gives us any cause for concern.

Avoiding queues at reception
One of our current problems is the physical set up of our reception area. There is a lack of
visibility which means staff cannot easily see the queue and so assist. The next stage of the re-
development will give us a new more open reception area which will help. Meanwhile,
wherever possible, if a receptionist has to leave the reception desk to deal with a query,
another receptionist will take her place until she returns. If there are more than 3 people in
the queue a 2nd receptionist will be called to assist, or the patients directed to the prescription
hatch to be assisted.

Increasing the number of clinical appointments
We are actively recruiting and will shortly be advertising again for an additional GP. Our
intention is to increase the number of GPs at the practice which will increase appointment
availability. We have recently reviewed the appointment system for our nursing team, and as
a result of this have now freed up additional nursing appointments.
We hope you agree with our action plan but please know we are always happy to receive
additional comments on how we can improve the service we provide.

Alison

Alison Arnold
Patient Services Manager

								
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