Feedback Report 2016

Report on patient engagement and comments 2016

 

Sources

Patient forum (meetings April, June ,Sept and Nov), responses received from online questionnaire, additional comments on FFT responses, themes raised in comments posted on NHS Choices

 

Prescription delays

Confusion whether prescription is available to collect from Practice or pharmacy. Reports of patients being sent back and forth.

Response and action

Difficulty arises from so much paper going back and forth and that we are keen to push more patients to choose electronic prescribing. Point was raised about awareness of this option and the Practice should make more of a push to ensure patients were aware and to nominate a pharmacy. Also that patients should consider how busy the small pharmacy here as 70% of all prescriptions generated by the Practice are sent to Lloyds at the request of the patient. It is difficult for patients to differentiate Lloyds from the Practice when they are on the same site but we are not a dispensing Practice and Lloyds operates much like any other independent pharmacy. Nevertheless the Practice should recognise that patients expect good co-ordination between the two.

The Practice should do more to promote online ordering for repeats, including the ability to track progress. This too needs a renewed effort to publicise. CCG data shows that the Practice compares favourably to other local Practices in the proportion of patients with online access. We are the second highest out of 15 albeit with just under 20%.

 

Waiting times to see GP

Comments from patients about the length of time after their allotted appointment time that they wait to see the GP.

Response and action

Extent of our same day access where all GPs are involved can lead to a certain unpredictability about the nature of issues GP will deal with each day. Although patients are reminded that same day booked appointments are for a single urgent issue it is often the case that patients will still present with multiple issues. In addition genuinely urgent issues will take more than 10 minutes to deal with. A presentation on the patient display board explains the reason for GPs sometime overrunning.

 

Availability of appointments, concerns about the same day booking process.

Response and action

The current system puts patients in control as all requests for same day access are placed with a GP, many of them without any kind of triage. In contrast some Practices seek to control their appointment capacity by having clinical staff triage every single request whether for same day or pre-bookable appointments. Ultimately there can only ever be a certain amount of capacity and increasingly Practices are having to take control of this to ensure patient priorities are met. As ever, the appointment system is under review. We will be reviewing our appointment protocol as part of the merger with Singleton Surgery and Singleton Medical Centre where different systems are currently in place.

 

Seeing a preferred GP

Difficulty in seeing a preferred GP continues to be raised by some patients. All patients are allocated a named GP but this does not seem to have made it any easier to see them.

Response and action

There is always a challenge securing appointments with a preferred GP but it is the case with all our GPs that routine appointments are available within the next four weeks. It cannot be the expectation with regard to urgent care that patients should expect to see the GP of their choice although some patients knowing which days certain GPs work may gravitate towards those days when booking a same day appointment. In the end, patient preference is to be respected but the reality of demand overall means patients have to make a choice whether to wait or see a different GP in a shorter timescale. We have recruited additional salaried GPs since May of 2016 and have hired a number of locum sessions at considerable cost in order to maintain overall appointment availability. This has been necessitated as part of our strategy to merge with the Singleton Surgeries and the need for some of our Senior GPs to work over there at times to ensure consistency of care and fill gaps we inherited in their provision while we continue the process of permanent recruitment and eliminate the need to use locum GPs. Despite this our national GP survey (MORI) response on this issue compares favourably to other Practices within our CCG

 

Telephone waiting times

Frequent issue raised about the amount of time it can take for calls to be answered. Reflected in national survey as well as feedback received in the Practice

Response and action

This has been a recurring theme for several years. Previous changes to the appointment system have achieved some modification to the pattern of demand and the pattern of telephone demand but any improvements seem to be temporary. The nature of our current appointment system tends to put patients in charge and the Practice accedes to every request rather than operating tighter control as per the ‘total triage’ model in place at some other Practice. One consequence of our current system is that it can generate excess demand which can manifest itself in higher call volumes. As part of our strategy to integrate the Practices at Singleton we will be looking at a common telephone system linking the sites, an increased or more flexible staff capacity to deal with calls and streamlined back office functions to eliminate delays in processing routine prescriptions which is a common cause of queries generating additional incoming phone calls.