Started 1 February.
Out of our 100 responses, 42 people are extremely likely to recommend us, 43 likely and 12 said they were neither likely nor unlikely. 2 people said they were unlikely to recommend us and 1 person said they were extremely unlikely to recommend us. This means that 85% of people are likely or extremely likely to recommend us to their friends and family and only 3% unlikely or very unlikely.
We asked what we could do to make their experience better…
6 people said they wanted to always be able to get an appointment with the same GP – We do understand that some people preferred the old service where they could almost always see their own GP. We can no longer run the practice like this. The demand for appointments is huge, all the doctors are part-time, some doctors are far more popular than others and it is impossible to have both ease of access and continuity of care. Ease of access consistently comes across as the thing that more people value and that is why we have relatively easy access – continuity of care unfortunately is a casualty of this system.
4 people felt we should stop running late and keep to time better – we do try to run to time. Unfortunately many patients take longer than 10 minutes. Sometimes this is because they have complex physical or mental health problems, sometimes it is because they are frail and take a long time to get to our room or to undress, sometimes it is because they talk for longer than 10 minutes. We try to give patients the time they need and be understanding. This may mean we run late at times. We are also managing results, urgent phone calls, emergencies, looking at test results and correspondence from the hospital. We are not drinking cups of tea and chatting!
2 people felt it should be possible to get quicker appointments – About 95% of our appointments are available the same day. It’s hard to get quicker appointments than that! The consequence of this is that appointments ahead-of-time are harder to get. We have no plans to change the appointment system.
Other individual responses were:
Have a drinks machine in the waiting room – We could look into this but most vending machines offer quite unhealthy drinks which probably isn’t the best message for a practice to give.
Let us call any day and get an appointment – We do. Obviously there are not an infinite number of appointments. If there are no appointments left by the time you call you will be offered a triage call-back if you feel you need to see a doctor that day.
Make the appointment system clearer – Thank you for this suggestion. We will try to arrange posters for the waiting room. It is on the website.
To be able to get Medication X (Not available in primary care) at the surgery – Obviously this is not something that we can control.
Have GPs who are not part time – I’m afraid this will not happen. Currently all the GPs are part time and it is rare to find GPs who are fulltime in any practice. At the moment the GPs who work 3 days a week are working around 36-39 hours a week so are virtually “full time”(on average full-time workers work 37.5 hours a week) even if they are not here every day. General practice is getting harder to manage and doctors are likely to decrease rather than increase their hours.
Some of the doctors are not good or polite – We are sorry if you feel this. Clearly you are in a minority but we would be grateful if you could inform us in writing of the doctors in question and the specific situations.
What do we do now that is good or excellent?
13 people found the receptionists very helpful and polite.
22 people found the GPs to be good / compassionate / excellent.
9 people liked the ability to get an appointment on the same day / quick appointment.
4 people reported the service and standard of care to be very good.
2 people said the nurses were great.
4 people said that they liked that they could always get an appointment.
2 people said that the new waiting room/reception area was much better.
Dr Green, Dr Dresler and Dr Larkin were singled out for particular praise/gratitude by some patients.
Other individual responses:
- The receptionists are good at trying to find appointments to suit.
- I always get seen on time.
- The phlebotomist is a great service.
- There is a good display of information.
- I am very impressed.
- “46 years of entirely satisfactory experience as a patient”
- “You’ve accommodated us so willingly, diligently and with speed whenever we have a medical issue with our 18 month old son. We’re incredibly grateful”.
Thank you for all the positive comments. They are always lovely to hear!
What changes would you like to see?
2 people would like easier appointments – We think our appointment system is as easy as it can be. We can’t see how we can change things to make it better. If you have any specific suggestions then please feel free to let us have them.
2 people said that we should change nothing as they have never had a problem – Thank you! Obviously we will continue to strive to provide an excellent service.
These were all individual responses:
There should be a clock in the waiting room – This is a good idea and we will try to organise this.
There should be automatic notification of test results – This would take a vast amount of staff time and resources. We think it is perfectly reasonable that patients should take responsibility for calling for their test results. We do contact patients under certain circumstances.
There should be automatic notification of changes to the practice staff etc – This would take a vast amount of time and money – neither of which we have enough of. All changes are immediately uploaded to the website which is the place to look for updates.
There should be long-term staff not temps – We have no temporary staff. All our staff are long-term though of course all are free to leave whenever they wish. General practice is not currently an attractive career option and there is much more movement within medical staff than there used to be. However we are confident that our current team is stable. Dr Newton will be retiring in September and there are no current plans to replace him with another doctor. Dr Wolff left last week and will be replaced by Dr Mallott who starts work next week.
Put people who have been with the surgery a long time first. There are too many people coming into the country for the doctor to cope – Obviously this is not a suggestion that can be implemented as it would be discriminatory. Actually we have no more patients than we have ever had. We have always had approximately 12,000 patients and we used to manage this with ¾ of the amount of doctor time that we now have. What has changed is the number of times in a year patients choose to consult with us. We are paid for 2 consultations a year. The average patient consults 5-6 times a year and some patients consult several times a month. Many of these are matters that do not need to be dealt with by a doctor.
I should know who “my” doctor is – We no longer run a personal list system. We continued to run this system for more than a decade after most surgeries had abandoned it but it is no longer viable. We have 11 very good doctors, all of whom can manage your problem. We would like it if patients had 2-3 doctors they felt comfortable with so that they had more flexibility about who they saw for chronic problems.
For the PPG
Comments seem on the whole to be more positive.
As always there are patients who are unhappy that they can’t see “their” doctor but more people are understanding that this is no longer possible.