2014 Survey Results
The same questionnaire that had previously been used in February 2012 had been circulated to patients using the surgery over the Christmas period in an effort to assess the success and impact of changes implemented since the last questionnaire, and also to collate patient satisfaction levels. Using the same questionnaire would also enable us to provide a good benchmark of assessing results on a like to like basis.
A total of 116 completed questionnaires had been returned to the reception at the Newport surgery over a period of 1 week over Christmas and New Year which proved to be a busy period – the previous survey had been completed over a 2 week period where 230 completed questionnaires had been received. Male to Female ratios was about the same over both periods (1:3), with slightly more older patients completing the survey this year which could perhaps be attributed to the timing of the questionnaire – winter months always having a season affect on the demographics of the patients visiting the surgery.
Generally patients still appear to be happy with the opening times, appointment system etc at the surgery, with an increased number of patients confirming they were happy or very happy with the appointments and opening times at the surgery from those of the last survey (70% in December 2013 against 58% in March 2012). Patients now appear to be more aware of the extended opening hours offered by the surgery, as agreed when the previous survey was completed and the action plan drawn up, although patients still asked for more availability in evenings and weekends – this would however impact on routine appointments available during weekday opening hours and so would prove impossible to practically offer. There are now 2 evenings a week when appointments are offered.
Since the last questionnaire was completed, a new system for the release of routine appointments has been introduced. Patients seem to have accepted the new system which now gives then the opportunity to book routine appointments ‘on the day’ with the doctor of their choice. Although this still involves a telephone call at 8am in a morning, patients appear to be happy to make this early morning call for non-emergency appointments if they wish to see a specific named Doctor. They can also book appointments in the afternoon now, which saves them from having to ring back at 2pm. Emergency appointments are still available. The survey reflects these changes with patients feeling they experience lower waiting times to wait to see the Doctor of their choice.
Patients continue to be happy with the service they receive from the reception staff within the surgery, the telephone system is still busy, but does not appear to pose a problem to the patients who completed the questionnaire. Since the last survey, the reception area has been re-modelled in an effort to improve patient confidentiality. There is now only one receptionist on the main desk, with two further colleagues working within an enclosed office answering the telephones. This has made the reception area much quieter and eliminated the risk of patient details being overheard within the public areas of the surgery. New signage is placed on the front desk advising patients that they can speak with a member of the reception staff in private should they wish to. According to the questionnaire results patients do not feel that the open plan reception area poses a great threat to confidentiality. Reception area at times can appear to be busy with several patients waiting to speak with a member of staff but this once again does not seem to be an issue with patients.
The system regarding prescription issue has been tightened since the last questionnaire. The doctors ‘duty of care’ to patients means that they need to personally issue more scripts than 18months ago, but this does not appear to have affected the efficiency of script issue. Any queries are dealt with electronically and will be answered much quicker than before. Patient satisfaction with the script service provided by the surgery and when working in conjunction with the local chemists has remained unchanged since the results of the last survey.
The result line operated by the nurses within the surgery appears to be better publicised during this survey, with more patients being advised to contact the surgery on the designated telephone number after a period of approx. 5 days. From personal experience, members of the group confirmed that the service was at times very busy, but results had always been able to be obtained within a reasonable time-scale.
Feedback regarding the Surgery had been very positive, with almost all patients being very happy with the surgery buildings, grounds and levels of cleanliness. A few patients still commented on the parking limitations during the very busy times, but unfortunately the physical restraints on space cannot be overcome; in general, except at peak times, the parking provision is considered to be more than adequate.
Seeing the doctor/nurse
Patients had been asked to complete the final page of the questionnaire after they had attended their appointment with either the doctor or nurse. Once again the feedback had been very positive. A few patients had considered that they had had to wait too long once they had arrived at the surgery, this unfortunately does happen on occasions especially over the festive period when patients are busy and often have other arrangements or engagements they wish to meet rather than waiting to see a Doctor.
Summary of changes implemented since last patient survey:
- Reception area redesigned to answer phone calls in separate office, quieter and more privacy at front desk
- Dedicated receptionist at front to deal with patients, not interrupted by phone calls etc.
- Sign to advice patients that they can ask receptionist for more quiet place to discuss issues
- Sign to advice patients of availability of a wheelchair
- General signs inside and outside refitted
- Opening times advertised outside and on screens in waiting areas, including evening surgeries
- Evening surgeries extended to 2 evenings to improve access
- Prescription queries now handled electronically, faster and more secure
- Adjusted appointment system, non-urgent on-the-day appointments bookable, including for the afternoon, no need to ring again at 2pm
- Improved online access to book appointments and request medication
- Last Flu clinic split into 2 days to ease waiting times and offer alternative if away on 1 day
- Muxton Surgery fitted with lift to make use of upstairs consulting room, resurfacing of parking area
The Patient Participation Group discussed the findings, it was felt that there were no immediate actions needed to be taken.