Are we ready to check in with the comments left on the Patient Satisfaction Survey?

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

It’s time to find out what comments our patients have left on our Patient Satisfaction Survey and Friends and Family Test this week. We wonder what we will learn this week.

Okay, so the first response was another spam comment on how to improve our Instagram/Twitter/Facebook following. On to the next one.

Excellent Service

I appreciate your help and thank you so much. And to send a feed back is a great idea to inform you of any shortfalls. Thanks.

Attended Cudworth for a smear, booked through Grimethorpe. Very pleased with lady who booked my appointment, she gave me 2 choices. Nurse who did my smear was lovely, nice manner, really calmed my nerves and explained everything she was doing and how I would tecieve my results.

While you may of improve the telephone system. It still took me 83 times ringing up . When I finally got through I was then on hold for several minutes.

Although our phone system is better than it used to be, it’s still far from perfect. We are aware there is no perfect system, but we would still like the phone access to be better than it is. For non-urgent problems it may be worth trying to bypass the phone lines completely and try our online consultations. This is however not a way to book an appointment or request prescriptions. You can access our online consultations here:

Lovely, friendly and professional lady. A pleasure to see. Thankyou.

My appointment was with Gemma for medication review & blood pressure assessment. She is so professional & approachable. Excellent information

A little communication issues with reception but the Dr I have seen these last couple of appointments is fabulous.

We don’t know what the communication issues were, but apologise for any issues that arose. During our staff training we will focus our attention on communication amongst other things.

Friendly doctors & staff got the results I wanted regarding my problems

I have been struggling for months over pain and medication I feel let down because I can’t get pain under control since being taken off Tramadol due to falls but I still fall as either knee or hip gives way and I’m in constant pain all day and that’s no life. I’ve been trying different medication so far but nothing seems help

We are sorry to hear this patient feels let down. Guidance from NICE (National Institute for Health and Care Excellence) has recently changed. No longer is pain relief the first line treatment for chronic pain disorders. Research shows that painkillers simply don’t work or solve the problem of chronic pain in the long term and they often have unacceptable side-effects or adverse effects. You can read more about the guidance here:

Instead, doctors now have to advise on different ways of managing chronic pain disorders, which could include a referral to the pain clinic.

Didn’t appreciate the way the GP was will my autistic son, expecting him to sit near the door whilst I had my appointment, my son had an appointment before me ide like to see a different doctor in future

We can’t really comment on this as we don’t know the situation or what exactly happened in the consultation. We hope patients will explain to the doctor when they feel the doctor’s request is either inappropriate or unachievable.

My main concern is unacceptably long wait to get thru on phone when i do call I am Always 5th in the queue an on this occasion it took 50 mins to get through to reception , i was told repeatedly i was 4th in the queue and thanever altered until my call was answered, however once i spoke with reception imy message was passed and i received a face to face appt the same dat thankyou for that staff in reception at grimethorpe are always polite and helpful , the phone waiting is disappointing and frustrating

Once more the problem is with the phone system and the wait on the phone. We have raised the issue with the provider unsuccessfully and also with the ICB (Integrated Care Board), who hold the contract. I suspect the only way to improve phone access is by diverting people away from contacting the practice by telephone and using the online consultations instead. However, as it can take 3 working days before you receive a response via this system, this is not currently suitable for urgent problems. If your problem can wait that long for attention, you can use that instead and bypass the phone lines (and the long wait on the phone).

Lines are supposed to open at 8am but frequently cannot get onto the que sustem until 20past/half past 8. I appreciate reception team are busy however when you advise you need notice of an appointment due to traveling from work (I work 1.5 hours away from
Home) I get dismissed and 9/10 o get referred to iheart by text or given an appointment with little notice. A better system is needed than a dismissive text.

Indeed, our phone lines open at 8 am and close at 6.30 pm. Although people can now ring all day and don’t necessarily need to call at 8 am exactly to have a chance of an appointment, the lines continue to be extremely busy early mornings. The lines start to calm down after 10 am (although there are still some busy times during the day). Please inform the receptionists of times you aren’t available to hopefully avoid being given an appointment you can’t make. However, we will not always be able to act on these requests as we need to work with the appointments we have available.

It’s also important to realise i-Heart is no longer just an out-of-hours service. It is now an extension of primary care and GP practices, providing the much-needed extra capacity for appointments. They can however not deal with chronic disease management, referrals, or fit notes. If your problem needs same-day attention and our appointments are already filled, we will need to signpost you to i-Heart (or book you an appointment there) to make sure you receive that same-day attention. Other options are walk-in centres, urgent care centres, or NHS 111.

It’s very frustrating being told to come back in a month for follow up then being told ring on the day surely it makes sense for people to make appointments for when needed.

We agree that appears to make sense. We used to do that many years ago (10, 15, or even more), however, we always ended up with problems. Staff members (doctors and nurses included), took time off for a time when the appointments were already on the system and the receptionists then needed to rearrange all the already booked appointments. This led to unhappy patients and unhappy receptionists. The appointments (although clearly shown for book on the day only) were booked in advance to suit some patients, leaving insufficient appointments available to book on the day. It also was more common for patients to forget their appointments and not turn up, leading to wasted appointments. Appointments that could have been used for other people needing one.

We now add nurse appointments about a month in advance and doctors about a week in advance to hopefully avoid people booking too far in advance or booking appointments that should be left for same-day booking only. It is extremely difficult to find a happy medium between allowing pre-booking and having sufficient same-day appointments available and we realise there is no perfect system.

The reception team are very helpful and a special mention to Heleen who always does everything she can to help me and my family. Thank you.

Made an appointment for a B12 injection
When l attended I was told by the nurse l was a fortnight early and she could not carry out the injection

We apologise to this patient. We rely on our patients to book the appointment for when their next appointment is due. The nurse will inform the patient of the due date during the appointment.

How likely are you to recommend our GP practice to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?
Extremely likely
Can you tell us why you gave that response?
All contact has been excellent – in person & by phone/ messaging
Excellent now I can see all my information on NHS app
Do you think the practice has improved in the last 12 months?
Follow up information through different formats eg by messaging works so much better for people with very busy lives
What are we doing particularly well?
Communication is great
Friendly, professional & informative
What do you feel we can improve on and how?
Phone waiting times would be the only thing

And again we are confronted with the failings of our phone system. We will need to search for ways how this can be improved within the current system. Not an easy task, but it is one that is important to our patients. Much of the waiting times on the phones are outside of our control and we will need to look hard for what we can change and improve.

And those are the comments patients left on our Patient Satisfaction Survey and Friends and Family Test this week. Like in previous weeks, the majority of the feedback is positive. However, where people are not happy, the waiting times on the phones and the difficulty in getting through on the phone is the one thing that pops up every time. We may not have much control over this but will need to look at what we can do to improve this. Thank you to all the patients who have filled in the survey, your feedback is always welcome and the time you’ve taken is much appreciated.