2015 Survey Results

The patient survey 2015 was performed in February, 320 questionnaires were completed over a period of 2 weeks. This is a much higher number than last year, when 116 questionnaires were collected over 1 week in December. For the first time we asked patients to fill in questionnaires in both branch surgeries, Muxton and Harper Adams University. 2/3 of patients were female, about 1/3 was suffering with long term conditions, which is much in keeping with last years figures.

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Opening Times

There has been a significant increase in excellent ratings for the opening hours, 13% up from 5%.

30% of patients are satisfied with current opening times, 32% would like additional evening hours and 27% weekend appointments.

The surgery is now open on Tuesdays and Wednesdays till 8 pm for appointments, which has become a very well used service. Opening further evenings would put more strain on doctor cover during the day.

We trialed to offer Saturday morning surgeries earlier last year, but found that they were not taken up much by patients.


The telephone appointments system is always difficult to get right. Only 5% where not able to get through, compared to 6% last year and 9% the year before.

Patients rated the ability to get through on the phone, 9% (up from 5%) rated it excellent, 19% (up from 13%) as very good.

This is very encouraging for us, the separation of reception into 1 front desk receptionist and 2 receptionists just answering phone calls in an enclosed area has proved to improve phone access.

The wait for a non-urgent appointment seems similar to previous years, 40% (38% before) were seen within 2 days, 27% had to wait 5 days or more.

We feel that the availability of appointments has improved a lot in the last few months, it was worse as usual in the weeks before Christmas.


Reception staff was perceived as friendly, helpful and polite and also as been seen quickly by 98% of patient, up from 95% and 93%. We think this is partly due to having a dedicated receptionist only dealing with patient enquiries at the front desk rather than being interrupted by phone calls. This has also improved the perception of being overheard, which has improved year by year, only 5% feel overheard and are not happy about it, down from 10% 2y ago and 8% last year. To address this, we have a sign on the reception desk which offers to speak to a receptionist in a separate room, which is being taken up more and more.

Repeat prescriptions

We can see a steady improvement in the prescription service; only 3% were not ready on time, compared to 6% last year and 8% the year before. Only 1% was not correctly issued, down from 4% last year. These are very good results, and we are working constantly to make the prescription service quicker and safer.

In February we have introduced an electronic prescribing service EPS, which enables us to send prescription requests directly to a nominated pharmacy. This reduces paper waste, but more importantly increases safety and avoids lost scripts etc.

Obtaining results

Still 8% of patients were not told when to contact the surgery for the results after having a blood test, which is up from 5%. The results were not available in 6%, same as last year. Only 5% were not satisfied with the amount of information given with the results. This is down from 7% and 8% respectively.

It is important to understand how the system works: every test result coming back from the lab needs to be seen by a doctor before the nurse can pass the information on to the patient. They come to individual doctors, and delays can happen if a doctor is unavailable or very busy. There are systems in place to redirect results if a doctor is on holiday etc.

Also, the nurses answering the results phone line can be very busy, and it might need several attempts to get through to them.

Physical environment

Parking was rated much worse than in previous years. 25% of patients thought that there was not enough parking, up from 9%.

We wondered whether this might be due to the inclusion of Harper Adams students. Depending on what courses are running at the same time as the surgery times over there, parking can be very difficult. We discussed this with the Patient Participation Group,  the parking in Muxton is no problem, but Newport can be very busy as well. This might be due to the fact that we have more doctors working at the same time, with 2 extra training doctors, as well as additional services like ENT clinics, chiropodist, smoking clinics etc. There is no space to extend the parking area, we might need to encourage people to walk to surgery?

100% stated that the surgery was clean, which is very encouraging.

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.

There was an increase in the number of people not happy with the time to wait to see the doctor from 6% to 11%. This might partially due to the training doctors, who can take a bit longer at times. However, the comments on the questionnaires were very positive, particularly on the doctors who tend to run late, and often found that they welcomed the extra time spent with them, even if they had to wait a bit longer.

78% were happy with the advice on medication, up from 70%, with no one being not satisfied. 77% were happy how thoroughly treatment option were explained (70% last year), and 79% (70% before) were happy with the way there illness / condition was explained to them. 68% compared to 58% last year felt more able to control their condition.

This shows a clear improvement throughout, which reflects partly the very good quality of training doctors we had over the last year.

Training challenges the doctors involved and improves the quality of care for the patients.

Summary of changes implemented since last patient survey:

Compared to last year, we have not introduced as many changes, no actions were recommended by the Patient Participation Group.

  • We have now a fully electronic prescribing system, which allows us to send requests electronically to nominated pharmacies.
  • We have done a lot of work behind the scenes and developed care plans for the most vulnerable patients and patients with chronic diseases like asthma, COPD and diabetes.
  • We continue to train medical students from Keele University, Final Year doctors from the hospital and GP registrars who will be GPs after finishing their training.
  • We installed camera equipment to some rooms to allow trainees to record consultations to allow them to discuss them with a trainer afterwards.

The results of the survey were presented to the Patient Participation Group and the practice team, there were no actions identified.