Patient Group Report

2014 Report on Patient Participation

Direct Enhanced Service 2013 to 2014

This report summarises the development and outcomes of the Bugbrooke Medical Practice’s virtual Patient Participation Group (PPG). The group was formed in August 2011.

Process used to recruit to our PPG

The invitation to join the Patient Participation Group (PPG) remains open to all patients.
To encourage patients to join the PPG we:

  • Have leaflets detailing the group available on the reception desk
  • Advertise the group on the practice website
  • Invite participation to new patients via the new patient questionnaire

PPG profile

We currently have 69 email addresses for patients who are have agreed to be part of our virtual PPG. A number of these email addresses are for couples or families which means we are actually in contact with more than 69 patients. When we contacted patients to discuss this year’s survey, two patients requested removal from the PPG. One had moved surgery and the other no longer wished to take part.

There continues to be a good age range of people in the group.

The ethnic group of all patients joining the group is White British. This is unsurprising given that 98% of the practice population is White British.

Priorities for the survey and how they were agreed

An email was sent to all members of the PPG explaining the purpose of the survey and asking for suggestions regarding which areas they would like us to consider. To help the group we did include suggestions as to the kind of areas they may like to look at but added that we were keen to see any of their own suggestions.

We received 15 responses back although two of these responses were from family email addresses. The responses were collated and forwarded to the practice management for consideration. At this meeting, it was agreed that the following areas would be considered in the survey:

  • Telephone consultation service
  • Continuity of care
  • Car parking facilities

Method and results of patient survey

The survey was drawn up by the Audit clerk within the practice and the practice manager. It was then shared with other key members of staff to ensure we had captured all options and also to obtain feedback on the draft survey. In addition, demographic information about the respondent was requested to ensure we obtained a balanced response.

The final version of the survey was then published as a document and a link to the survey was placed on the practice website. In addition, paper copies of the survey were made available to patients in the waiting room.

The survey was promoted

  • On the practice website
  • On prescriptions
  • By way of a poster in the waiting room

The survey was carried out between the 17th February and 24th March

Survey results

In total, only 46 patients completed 2014 survey.  With a patient population of 9745, this is a very small number of our patients and it is therefore difficult to draw any firm conclusions from the survey. It has however, provided a useful insight and has raised a number of issues that the practice was not aware of.

The first area the practice looked at was the telephone triage system. The aim of our telephone triage is to maximise the number of patients able to have contact with a doctor on a day to day basis. Where a need is identified, the patient will be offered an appointment with a GP on that day or at their convenience. The system does attract criticism from some patients who would prefer to be able to make an appointment with a doctor without having to speak to a doctor first.

The survey showed that 67.4% of the respondents like the triage system, 32.6% did not (see figure 1). Patients using the triage system did report issues concerning getting their call answered (see figure 2). The most common issue was the phone line being engaged (24 patients). The other reported issues related to unacceptable delays in answering the call, the phone lines closed over lunch or needing to phone a number of times before the call was answered. Further information can be found in figure 3. The free text comments left by patients often related to how they were dealt with by reception staff and this will be looked at further by the practice.

The main point we can take from this section is that the majority of the respondents supported the triage system but that there are issues with it, largely the time and effort required to get your call answered.

Once the call from the patient has been taken by the receptionist, it is placed on a telephone triage doctors call list. The practice has two doctors scheduled for telephone triage within each session and the calls are split equally between the two doctors. There is a maximum number of 35 calls per doctor that can be taken for each session, with the exception of emergencies. Where demand exceeds this number, the patient is asked to call back within the next triage session, unless it is an emergency call.

With regards to the call back service provided by the doctors, 76% of all respondents were happy with the overall service they had received (see figure 5). We asked patients to tell us about any issues they had experienced with the call back service. We had a range of answers (see figure 4) to this question. The most frequent issues were that the patient has found it difficult to take the call when the doctor rang back and/or the patient was not able to answer the call. The latter typically results in the patient contacting the surgery again and asking if the doctor could try ringing again. Obviously this causes more calls coming into the surgery thus compounding the issue of call volumes.

The results in this section of the survey highlight the need to consider how we improve the call back service. We already offer call backs at convenient times to the patient and also the opportunity to either wait to speak to their preferred doctor or, to speak to one of the doctors undertaking triage in that session. This issue will need to be discussed further within the practice to see what improvements can be made.

Another set of issues highlighted in this section related to patients not wishing to discuss their health over the phone or struggling to find the words to adequately describe their symptoms. There were 24 respondents citing these areas.

It is more difficult to know how to address the issue of patients not wanting to discuss their health over the telephone when this is the purpose of the telephone triage. It may be that the practice needs to continue to educate patients as to the benefits of the telephone triage system over the traditional appointment based system. The practice should also take note, that talking about health issues over the phone can be difficult for some patients and that this should be borne in mind when speaking to patients.

In terms of continuity of care, the results were very pleasing. Figure 6 shows that just over half of all respondents had no issues with obtaining an appointment with the doctor of their choice. The main issue noted was that the respondent’s preferred doctor did not have any appointments in the next 5 days. This issue will need to be discussed further within the practice to see what improvements can be made.

The survey showed that the majority of our patients drive to the surgery and a significant number had issues with car parking facilities (figure 7 and figure 8 respectively). The main issue relates to the lack of spaces with the mornings being the worse time. Other issues noted were the poor marking for the bays. The comments made from respondents raised the issue of the safety of pedestrians within the car park as there is no defined walk way for them.

The PPG also asked us to look into the usefulness of a bicycle rack. The survey results in figure 9 showed that whilst most respondents would not make use of one, there were a number of patients who might. For this reason, it would be worth looking into this in more detail.

Demographics

Analysis of the demographics for the respondents showed a balance across all areas with the exception of ethnicity where the vast majority of respondents were white British.

Action plan

The practice has fully considered the results of the survey and has agreed the following actions:

Telephone Triage

An additional staff member is to be made available to answer calls during peak call hours to reduce the waiting time currently experienced by patients trying to contact the surgery. To facilitate this, an additional member of the reception team will be recruited by the practice. It is hoped that by doing this, reception staff will be under less pressure to get through calls as quickly as possible and the experience will be more pleasant for both staff and patients.

As part of the planning for the additional call handler, training will also be undertaken to highlight how best to meet the patient needs. For example, consideration should be given to any difficulties the patient might have taking the call back from the doctor. We also need to promote the flexibility of the triage system by offering patients the chance to be placed on their preferred doctor’s screen albeit that this might incur a delay for the patient. Again, by having more than one call handler, the receptionist will have more time to spend with each caller.

Car Parking

The practice is to obtain quotes with regards to the cost of repainting the parking bays. As part of this process, we will also look to see if there is any possibility of creating more parking spaces and also to see if a walkway for pedestrians could be created.

Bicycle Rack

The practice will also seek quotes for the installation of a bicycle rack which it is hoped will further reduce reliance on car parking spaces.

The survey had 46 responses.

Figure 1

Figure 2

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Figure 4

Figure 5

Figure 6

Figure 7

Figure 8

Figure 9

Respondent Demographics

Figure A

Figure B

Figure C

Figure D 

Click here to download the above PPG 2014 Report (.pdf)

2013 Report on Patient Participation Direct Enhanced Service 2011 to 2013

This report summarises development and outcomes of the Bugbrooke Medical Practice patient participation group (PRG) in 2012/13.
During August 2011 a decision was taken to form a virtual patient participation group.

Process used to recruit to our PPG

The invitation to join the patient participation group (PPG) continues to be extended to all patients.
To continue to try to get patients to join the group we continued to:

  • Have leaflets detailing the patient group available on the reception desk for all patients attending the practice.
  • Advertise the group on the practice website

Figure 2 - Leaflet

Figure 3 - Leaflet

2. PPG profile

There are currently 71 patients who are part of the virtual patient participation group, this means that a further 17 patients have joined the group in the last 12 months.

There continues to be a good age range of people in the group.

The ethnic group of all patients joining the group is White British.

The ethnic population of the practice is 98% White British.

The measures that the practice continues to take in an attempt to engage a cross section of the patient population give equal opportunity to all patients.

3. Priorities for the survey and how they were agreed

An email was sent from the practice manager to the 71 people on the PPG asking for suggestions as to what areas of service they would like the practice to look at this year.
 
15 responses were received and the responses indicated that it would be a worthwhile exercise to repeat the previous years survey to see what affect the education of patients in regard to the appointment system had had.

The same list of questions was then emailed to the people on the PPG for approval.

The survey was published as a google document and the survey was advertised with link to the google survey on

  • All prescriptions
  • The practice website
  • Via a leaflet available in the waiting room
  • Some members of the group said they would tell people about the survey

Paper copies of the survey were also made available to patients in the waiting room.

4. Method and results of patient survey

The survey was designed as an

  • electronic Google document
  • a paper form to give out to patients without access to a computer

We carried out the survey between 1st February 2013 – 19th March 2013

5. Survey results

The results of the survey can be seen here.

Figure 4 - Survey Results


The number of responses is disappointingly low at only 35, we draw the conclusion that patients will only complete a survey if they are not happy with the service or that patients are weary of surveys and therefore reluctant to participate.

The results do however show that that a higher percentage of patients understand the telephone triage system and why we do this that patients now find it easier to see or talk to the same doctor for continuity purposes

  • 83% of patients who responded have confidence in the doctors at the practice
  • 91% of patients who responded have confidence in the nurses at the practice
  • 88% of patients who responded say the practice is very easy to access
  • 74% of patients who responded say the practice is very clean
  • 74% of patients who responded say that the reception staff are very helpful & 23% fairly helpful
  • 95% of patients who responded say that the dispensary staff are very helpful & 5% fairly helpful

The results are encouraging and indicate that

  • In general terms patients have a better understanding of the telephone consultation process and the process of getting an appointment.
  • With regard to continuity of clinical care the responses show that are finding it easier to speak to the same doctor for continuity purposes.
  • The patients are very happy with the staff on reception and in the dispensary. This is especially pleasing for the practice in view of the staff changes over the last year within the reception team
  • .The education materials used in the practice to tell patients about the telephone consultation and appointment system have had a positive impact.

An action plan has therefore been agreed with the PPG and can be seen below.

5 Resulting action plan and how it was agreed

The action plan was developed by the practice manager and the partners, it was emailed to the people on the PPG on 19.3.13, responses from the PPG approved the action plan.

As a result of the opinions expressed in the patient survey, which was available for patients to complete between February & March 2013, the Doctors have developed the following action plan.

Patient Group Report

6 Confirmation of our opening times

As a result of the survey we have not changed out opening times. They are:

You can call the surgery between 8am & 6.30pm the telephone number is 01604 830348
The surgery reception is open between 8am & 6.30pm
We are open on a Monday evening until 8.30pm
Outside of these times please call the Northamptonshire Out of Hours Service 03336 664 664.

2012 Report on Patient Participation Direct Enhanced Service 2011 to 2013

This report summarises development and outcomes of the Bugbrooke Medical Practice patient participation group (PRG) in 2011/12.

During August 2011 a decision was taken to form a virtual patient participation group.

1. Process used to recruit to our PPG

The invitation to join the patient participation group (PPG) was extended to all patients.

To try to get a representative sample of the practice population involved we:

  • Created a notice board advertising the new PPG, with a poster giving patients the relevant information together with leaflets detailing how to join the group
  • Offered leaflets to all patients attending the practice
  • Put a copy of the poster on the notice board section of the practice website
  • We attached a leaflet to every new patient registration form
  • Sent a copy of the poster and leaflet to the local retirement village, for the attention of the chairman of the residents association
  • Leaflets were given to the health visitors to give to the new Mums that they visit and to give out at their baby clinics
  • We also attempted to put the details on the NHS Choices website but were advised that this was not possible

The notice board was placed by the reception desk and was there for approximately 12 weeks, we continued to had out the leaflet to all new patients and the forms for joining the group remain available on the reception desk.

We received 54 responses, a spreadsheet was created with their email contact details and a contact list in our email address book.

2. PPG profile

Of these responses:

36 were from female patients & 18 from male patients.

The age ranges were as follows:

< 20 = 0: 20-30 = 3: 30-40 = 3: 40-50 = 8: 50-60 = 8: 60-70 = 13:

>70 = 19 (the eldest being 91)

All of these patients were accepted onto the group

The ethnic group of all patients joining the group is White British.

The ethnic population of the practice is 98% White British.

The measures that the practice took in an attempt to engage a cross section of the patient population gave equal opportunity to all patients.

3. Priorities for the survey and how they were agreed

  • An email was sent from the practice manager on the 25.10.2011 to the people on the PPG asking for suggestions as to what areas of service they would like the practice to look at and advising that the 2 areas that were most indicated would be those chosen to work on.
     
    59 responses were received and from these responses,
    • 22 people (37%) asked us to look at the current process of getting an appointment
    • 18 people (30%) asked us to look at continuity of clinical care
  • A second email was sent to the people on the PPG on 11.11.2011, advising of the 2 areas chosen and asking for their help in creating a list of questions for the survey

15 responses were received and a meeting was arranged with the partners to discuss the
responses. At this meeting a list of questions was produced, these questions were based around the understanding of the current telephone triage system and the problems encountered with continuity of clinical care.

This list of questions was then emailed on 5.12.11 to the people on the PPG for approval.

Some minor adjustments were made in line with comments received from the PPG.

4. Method and results of patient survey

The survey was designed as an

  • electronic Google document
  • a paper form to give out to patients without access to a computer

We carried out the survey between 10th January 2012 – 16th March 2012

5. Survey results

The results of the survey can be seen here.

Figure 4 - Survey Results

Accepting that the number of responses is low, (59, which equates to approx 0.5% of the patient population) the results indicate that

  • that some patients do not understand the telephone triage system and why we do this
  • that patients are unaware that they can ask to speak to the doctor of their choice
  • that patients have difficulty in receiving the return call from the doctor
  • that patients have difficulty in seeing the same doctor for continuity purposes
  • that some patients did not know they could ask to speak to/see the doctor of their choice
  • 86% of patients who responded have confidence in the doctors at the practice
  • 90% of patients who responded have confidence in the nurses at the practice
  • 83% of patients who responded say the practice is very easy to access & very clean
  • 73% of patients who responded say that the staff are very helpful & 22% fairly helpful

The results are encouraging and indicate that in general terms patients are happy with the process of getting an appointment and continuity of clinical care, however the partners accept that there may be a lack of understanding of the telephone triage system and the benefits of this system.

An action plan has therefore been agreed with the PPG and can be seen below.

5 Resulting action plan and how it was agreed

The action plan was developed by the practice manager and the partners, it was emailed to the people on the PPG on 16.3.12, responses from the PPG approved the action plan.

As a result of the opinions expressed in the patient survey, which was available for patients to complete between January & March 2012, the Doctors have developed the following action plan.

The hope is that by making these changes to our working practices, the difficulties experienced and voiced by our patients will be resolved.

Figure 5 - Action Plan 2012

6 Confirmation of our opening times

As a result of the survey we have not changed out opening times. They are:

You can call the surgery between 8am & 6.30pm the telephone number is 01604 830348
The surgery reception is open between 8am & 6.30pm
We are open on a Monday evening until 8.30pm
Outside of these times please call the Northamptonshire Out of Hours Service 03336 664 664

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Your Neighbourhood Professionals. Just a Click Away! Need advice on your pension? Want to avoid unwanted tax implications? Contact a local financial adviser today Olympus Care Services John White Funeral Directors
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