Checking our Patient Survey results

In case you think filling in our Survey is a waste of time, the practice manager checks the results every weekend. We use the results to help us improve our services further. We may not be able to, but we continue to monitor and adapt to provide the best service we possibly can.

Here are a few of the recent results (only those where people have left a comment are included):

Getting through to the surgery was difficult. The telephone kept going dead every time I called. Once I got the appointment, everything went smoothly.

We know our phone system (although improved) still causes problems for our patients. Although we continue to look at solutions, why not try our online consultations system instead and bypass the busy phonelines? Don’t rely on this for urgent issues as it may take 3 working days for us to respond.

Quick to be seen and great care by the receptionist and doctor.

Brilliant consultation was very pleased

Because I am not a regular visitor to the surgery I am not sure how I should make an appointment. Do I ring, do call at the surgery or book an appointment myself using Patient Access?

You can find more about our appointment system here:

A first class service as always

Quick to be seen and great care by the receptionist and doctor.

As always very happy with my Dr,s

You’re doing a great job, I’m happy with the new phone system and the new appointment system, all of my issues have been dealt with promptly. The only thing I could wish for would be an electronic “I have arrived for my appointment” system that I have seen at previous practices as there have been times I have arrived in time for my appointment but there has been a couple of people in the queue so it makes me “late” for my appointment.

A great suggestion. We used to have one in place, but it kept breaking down. We got so frustrated with it that we did away with the self-arrival screens. Perhaps it’s time to have another look at the systems available.

This was a follow up from a screening for lung disease the appointment was prompt and doctor Maters was very thorough and alayed any worries l had from results totally satisfied

We have had an influx of results coming through from the lung health checks. Several patients were either shown to have mild, moderate, or severe emphysema, and others were diagnosed with a lung nodule that needed monitoring, some of the findings were suspicious for lung cancer and the screening programme directly referred those patients for further hospital investigations. The screening also provided some accidental findings, lumps in the stomach or kidneys, or calcifications in the arteries around the heart. Not all findings were significant, but some of these will need a consultation with a GP to find out if they are significant or not. People diagnosed with emphysema will need yearly COPD reviews.

A number of patients were upset by the request to come for a COPD review when they were unaware of the diagnosis. We believed the patient had been informed of the diagnosis (as this was what the letters we received told us), but later found out that we received the letter before the patient received the diagnosis and explanation mentioned. We apologise to those patients where our action was faster than the explanation and diagnosis provided by the lung health check team. From now on, we will wait at least a few weeks after receipt of the letter before requesting patients to book in for their COPD review. This should give the team sufficient time to inform patients and explain the diagnosis.

Cannot understand why it’s so hard to get help when needed.
About time something is done about getting appointed, then been told to ring first thing.
And then spending half hour before being answered

Why is it so difficult to get an appointment? Well, we have around 7500 patients. There are two full-time GP partners, a salaried GP who works one morning a week, and three locums. The locums work differing hours (1 day a week, 4 mornings a week, and 3 days a week). We also have an Advanced Nurse Practitioner who can do most of the work a GP can and is extremely experienced. Our Physician Associate can do similar things too.

Still, for 7500 patients, we don’t really have enough clinicians to provide the number of appointments patients want (and need).

The ‘easy’ solution is to take on more clinicians and provide more appointments. So why don’t we?

Well, there are insufficient numbers available. Other than that, we don’t have the space to put the extra clinicians either. They are already hot-seating as it is. One finishes their surgery and the next one takes the seat as soon as it becomes available. Funding is an issue too, but could be overcome if space didn’t restrict us. Unfortunately, we have no access to more space than we currently have.

Our appointment system at present aims to ensure appointments are available for those who need them, and those better served elsewhere are signposted there. The system in itself is considered ‘difficult’ by some patients too. They just want to go back to making an appointment whenever they want one. Or, some people even told us they want to go back to the ‘open surgery’ format. Just queue outside for hours until it is your turn.

With the new system, patients no longer need to phone ‘first thing’ at 8 am. However, we can only assign appointments according to the availability. If you phone at 6 pm chances are there won’t be any chance of being seen the same day. You will likely be signposted to i-Heart instead.

Like the patient above, we are often told we never answer the phone or they have to wait for too long for the phone to be answered. We can assure you this isn’t because the receptionist is sitting twiddling her thumbs. As soon as one call ends, the next one is answered. The phones ring nearly non-stop throughout the day. Some calls take a few seconds, others can take a long time. Occasionally (fortunately not very often) it can take half an hour or more before a call is completed.

When I get my bloods done for my INR always on time nurse is caring and helpful

I have received excellent care and hope it will help me.

I feel that I am seen as often as I need to be in regards to the problems I have had

I was very happy of the service i recieved

The length of time to answer a phone 40 minutes is a long time when 4th in the queue

Do you think the practice has improved in the last 12 months?
Absolutely. Much easier to speak with a doctor.
What are we doing particularly well?
Informative receptionist
What do you feel we can improve on and how?
Genuinely nothing. It’s nice that genuine people can get an appt if required.

Every time I’ve needed help, everyone from the reception to clinical teams have been fantastic. Calm, patient, supportive, and understanding.
Do you think the practice has improved in the last 12 months?
It’s easier to get appointments since the introduction of the triage lists and telephone queueing system.
What are we doing particularly well?
Helping people when they need it most by signposting to the right services.
What do you feel we can improve on and how?
There’s nothing I can think of.

We are pleased most of the feedback is positive. It is encouraging to hear that the changes we made are in the most seen as improvements by our patients and providing people with the care they need. We may not always get it right (we’re only human), but we do all we can to get it right (or put it right if we didn’t).

Thank you to all the people who are taking the time to fill in the survey. It is very much appreciated.