Our weekly check-in with comments left on our Patient Satisfaction Survey and our Friends and Family Test

Image showing Patient Satisfaction Survey, tick boxes and pink marker pen

Another week has gone by while we near the end of October. Once more it is time to have a look at the latest comments left on our survey and draw our conclusions from these.

Reason for attendance was to get some pain pain relief as in agony but which has not been provided

There can be many reasons why a prescription for pain relief is not provided. Painkillers aren’t always the best treatment option. Also, several painkillers are available over the counter and GPs are no longer allowed to prescribe these. Instead, patients will need to buy these painkillers themselves. There is also new NHS guidance for the treatment of chronic pain. Painkillers are no longer in the top place for treatment of chronic pain. They have many side effects and several can be addictive too. It can be difficult to strike the right balance between pain relief and the side effects they may have.

When making appointment it would help if the phone call was answered we know it gets busy, but sometimes it takes ages

This is a comment we receive repeatedly. You would think we would have changed this by now and finally start answering the phone, right? Unfortunately, it isn’t quite this simple.

Our receptionists answer the phones non-stop. One call is ended and the next is answered.

‘But what about the receptionist at the front desk? I don’t see her answering the phone.’

This is correct. The receptionist at the front desk doesn’t take any external phone calls. Our reasons for this are:

  • patients in the waiting area can overhear what is said – not good for confidentiality
  • there are also people coming to the front desk who require attention
  • this receptionist also processes prescription requests, tasks and referrals
  • this receptionist also processes emails, and letters from the hospital and community services

The receptionists answering the phone, are away from the reception front desk and answer call after call. The phones are answered, but we realise this isn’t fast enough for many of our patients. We are unsure how we could improve on this.

Very disappointing disabled parking where able body people parking in blue badge only bays.
On my last visit I had to park further away from the surgery due to this selfish individual who clearly was not in need of disability parking. I felt very unwell by the time I reached the surgery.

This should NOT happen. We completely empathise with this patient and agree this is unacceptable. Can everyone please bear in mind that disabled parking is only for people who are disabled and have a blue badge? Please be considerate. ‘I’ll only be a minute’ is not an acceptable excuse. Nor is, ‘there wasn’t anywhere else’.

The system is frustrating listening to terrible music sometimes for over 30 minutes I just put the phone down and go to bed if it’s my Vertigo as I get to the point I need to lie down.
This last occasion was my diabetic annual check all ready to go then the nurse went sick so delayed.
So I had the check up yesterday at Cudworth not Grimethorpe where I live my husband had to take me as I cannot drive at moment so not very convenient he had to hang around for nearly an hour waiting for me.

We have tried to get better music to listen to, but the choices available to us with our phone system are extremely limited. The current music is arguably the best of the lot. Early morning is when our phone lines are the busiest. After 10 am, it tends to become a little quieter. However, phone calls can occasionally last for 20 minutes or more. When there are several people in the queue, this can mean a long wait and our receptionists will keep the calls as short as is possible while still providing the caller with the care and support they need.

We apologise for the inconvenience caused by one of our nurses being off sick. Unfortunately, these things do happen and are usually unexpected. We do not yet know when she will be well enough to return to work, but wish her all the best and hope she’ll soon return to us. We all miss her, as a part of our extended family, a friend, a co-worker and a valued member of our team. The appointments we have available are currently reduced and several of her appointments needed to be cancelled and/or rescheduled. This will leave our patients with a limited choice and they may need to go to the site where we have an appointment available instead of the one they would prefer.

Needed to see a nurse for bloods ,after a gp visit to establish whether I’m peri-menopausal.Got me in for an appointment at Cudworth a few days later.

Great service, well and truly appreciated. Thankyou.

Thank you for your comment. It is much appreciated.

After an hour on hold to even speak to a receptionist I was given an appointment for 3pm yesterday. I arrived and booked in at 2:50. Sat close to the door, saw and heard every name the Dr said as well as watched every name called go through. At 3:40 I was still waiting so enquired when id be seen… after checking the receptionist told me I’d been marked as a no show? And I’d have to continue to wait to see someone else. This is unacceptable, I’d pulled my 4 year old son from school at 2:30 to attend this appointment as I knew it would over run, but by over an hour? Imagine id not done that. Yet if I was 5 minutes late I’d be turned away. This triage system does not work, un able to make decisions about times and even the clinic to attend, it’s a nightmare.

It is obvious something went wrong here. Patient was given an appointment and and an appointment time. The patient arrived on time and booked in. Then marked as a ‘no-show’? That doesn’t seem right. Either this patient did not tell the receptionist they had arrived (but the above appears to suggest they did), or the receptionist failed to mark the patient as arrived. How could that happen? Sometimes, the computer system crashes before the arrival is logged and the receptionist may forget it afterwards. Although this does happen, it fortunately doesn’t happen very often. More likely she was distracted or just forgot.

This is not acceptable, and although human, shouldn’t happen. We apologise to the patient for this.

As a result, the doctor didn’t know the patient had arrived and called in patient after patient, leaving this patient waiting and getting marked as ‘did not attend’.

Is this the fault of the triage system? A failure of the triage system? No.

Is this human error and something we need to look at? Yes.

We will discuss with our team how we can improve and the practice manager will stress again that receptionists ensure they mark patients off when they inform them they’ve arrived and that the clinicians double check whether a patient has arrived if they show as not arrived yet.

Our apologies for what happened to this patient. It shouldn’t have.

The treatment i receive is at aways excellent. I can only comment on how it is for me. Thank you

Thank you.

The receptionist was friendly and professional. The Dr that I saw (I think it was Dr Ala?) was great. Very thorough and reassuring.

Thank you, we will make him aware of the comment.

I tried for 4 months to get an appointment but was told to ring in the next day. I would ring every morning then every other day but I lost faith. My problem became quite serious and I definitely needed to be seen at this stage. I was given an appointment for 5days time but it could not wait. When I was rang back at 11:30am I was told to go to Kendray out of hours at 7pm. I did this and found out I needed to be seen a.s.a.p. by my Doctor to prescribe Steroids and to be referred.
Do you think the practice has improved in the last 12 months?
I can’t comment as I am not a regular visitor to the Doctor’s. The one thing I would say is the same is not being able to get an appointment especially when you are in need of medical care. This was why my problem escalated.
What are we doing particularly well?
When I got to see the Doctor I was happy with his care and concern regarding my problem. He makes the next follow up appointment for me before I leave Which stops any unnecessary stress and anxiety caused by trying to get to see him again.
What do you feel we can improve on and how?
The main problem is Appointments.

We’re sorry to hear the patient had this problem but can’t help but wonder how long ago this was. Since April we haven’t told anyone to try again the next day. Instead, patients are placed on an assessment of need list and a clinician determines the best option for that patient based on the details the patient has shared with the receptionist. No one is told to try again the next day.

Not everyone will receive an appointment with a doctor, but they will receive advice on what the clinician felt the best option for them was. A 4-month wait to get an appointment by phoning again day after day should no longer be possible.

If someone, based on the assessment of need, is likely to need same-day care, they will either receive this care from the surgery, or be signposted to i-Heart. They will not be told to try again the next day.

The dr was about 20 mins late but he was really good listening an offering support. I felt like he cared
Do you think the practice has improved in the last 12 months?
Yes definitely
What are we doing particularly well?
The reception staff at Grimthorpe surgery don’t care about patients
What do you feel we can improve on and how?
Wee aww sting time to see redemption at Grimthorpe, Cudworth are amazing

We’re pleased to hear the patient was happy with the doctor and with Cudworth reception staff. We are sorry to hear the patient isn’t happy with the receptionists at Grimethorpe and disagree with the statement. All our receptionists care about the patients and do the best they can to help and find a solution to a patient’s problem. They may not always be successful, but they will do all they can. We have observed our receptionists while performing their duty and have never found reason to doubt they cared.

Appointment was made on the same day with the doctor. Bloods needed doing and that was arranged straight after my appointment. So this saved time and energy.
Do you think the practice has improved in the last 12 months?
What are we doing particularly well?
Answering the phone and arranging appointments where necessary.
What do you feel we can improve on and how?
Only thing I can think of at the moment is I would have preferred to attend Grimethorpe surgery rather than Cudworth. Only because I can walk to the surgery at Grimethorpe.

Pleased to hear this patient was happy with our services.

Very good receptionist and helpful
Do you think the practice has improved in the last 12 months?
What are we doing particularly well?
Better now the queue system is in place with the phone

Another happy patient.

The large majority of responses this week has been positive again. We are pleased to hear this. This is not a reason to become complacent, but one to continue the work we are trying to do and look for improvements where we can.

Is a survey like this representative of what our patients think of our services? That is a difficult question to answer. After all, most of the patients who filled in the survey did so after attending an appointment at the surgery. What do patients who didn’t have an appointment think of the services we provide? Are they satisfied or do they feel disgruntled? We don’t know. Still, even those patients have a chance of taking part in the survey. After all, we advertise the survey on social media repeatedly to give all our patients a chance and to get as representative a sample as we can.

Thank you to all those patients who filled the survey. We appreciate your time and effort in taking part.