Opening Times Action Plan
165 patients (70%) rated the opening times to be good to excellent.
The questionnaires showed that 61 patients wanted the surgery to open in the evening. The surgery has offered extended hours for a few years with appointments available up to 8:30 pm in the evening. None of the members of the Patient Participation Group were aware of these appointments.
There is a clear need for better communication of opening times.
When asked to rate the ability to get through to the practice on the telephone, 159 (67%) rated it good to excellent, 42 (18%) fair, 28 (12%) poor and 8 (3%) very poor.
It was felt that the negative rating is mainly due to the very busy first hours in the day. We have 4 phone lines and 3 receptionists in to answer calls during this time.
We felt in both groups that there is little which can be done about this.
When we asked our patients how long they would normally have to wait for a non-urgent appointment, 86 said they had waited 5 or more days. It was decided that more details were required from patients regarding their individual background – some patients would be booking more than 5 days in advance, some would want to wait for a specific doctor etc. Perhaps the question needs to ask if the patient was happy to wait and understood the delays incurred.
- Erect sign on wall outside surgery to make opening times easily accessible.
- Consider advertising in local magazine to reach patients who do not attend surgery
- Receptionists to inform patients about evening appointments
- Extended opening times highlighted on website