Our Patient Participation Report:
1. Provide a description of the profile of the members of the PPG
Woodlands has always had a PPG group. Initially members were recruited from a randomised mailing list and responded accordingly. Over time the group membership has declined as patients feel unable to continue or have moved out of the area. A number of youth representatives attended the group initially via the local secondary school.
The current members of our patient participation group were mainly recruited during year 2011-2012 in an attempt to increase the group size and membership. A recruitment campaign was run throughout the flu season in order to increase our membership. Fern Haxby attended a PPG meeting earlier in the year and advised that this would be an appropriate approach to increasing the group membership given the local difficulty of retaining a representative group. We were pleased to note that the membership increased in response to our recruitment campaign.
Patient representatives are almost evenly split between male and female. They are all patients of various doctors in our practice. They range from new members to ones who have been with us since the group began. The age range tends to range between middle aged to elderly. There are patients who have long term conditions as well as those who are just interested in participating in this way.
2. Detail the steps taken by the contractor to ensure that the PPG is representative of its registered patients and where a category of patients is not represented, the steps the contractor took in an attempt to engage that category
To ensure that our patient participation group is as representative as possible we advertised in various different ways. Group members attended our flu vaccination clinics in order to hand out leaflets advising other patients of what this group does, as well as to “spread the word” regarding our aims. We also advertised in local publications as well as through posters at a local secondary school. A few of the GPs also recommended specific patients who they thought would be interested in joining.
3. Provide details of the steps taken to determine and reach agreement on the issues which had priority and were included in the local practice survey
Working with the PPG we reviewed the survey results. PPG members were all sent a copy of the full report prior to attending a PPG meeting. To determine the issues that had priority we looked to see where the biggest differences in ratings were between our mean score and the mean score of other practices of a similar size, as well as comparing benchmark data to practices nationally. To further highlight any areas which could be prioritised and improved we also looked through the patient feedback comments and found various themes. The main themes that we found were waiting time, reception staff difficulties and communication, and lack of advertising for various services that we offer. When discussed with the patient group a number of proposed action points were suggested by the practice. These were considered with the PPG members:
- The booking in board should show patients how many are waiting in front of them. This will communicate to the patients how many people they need to wait for.
- receptionists should routinely advise patients when booking in how many are in front of them. This is normally done in an emergency or when home visit delays progress but receptionists do not always remember to do this in a more routine way as on-going progress either later after an urgent delay or when GPs or nurses are running late generally.
- receptionists should issue a general reminder from time to time when the waiting room is full to all present to ensure that they have all checked in. Some patients may be waiting without us being aware.
- We also decided to review our advertising of these services and ensure that these continue to be included in our newssheet and on the rolling boards and seek further opportunity to advertise these services as opportunity presents.
Group members discussed the positives and negatives of these proposals and were in general agreement that these areas should be incorporated within the plan as priorities.
4. Describe the manner in which the contractor sought to obtain the views of its registered patients
At our PPG meeting of 28th November (minutes available) we discussed possible options of how we would distribute questionnaires and gain patient views. The final outcome was that we should sought to obtain the views of our registered patients by leaving copies of the questionnaire at the front desk in both Paddock Wood and East Peckham.
We aimed for as many patients as possible who were using the service to fill in the questionnaires. We felt that this would get more results than sending the questionnaires to a representative sample as patients would be able to comment on the service they had just received. We then knew that they had used the service frequently as they would have entered one of the surgeries for some reason, either for an appointment, to book/ alter an appointment, or to hand something in at the front desk.
PPG members offered to attend surgery to assist individuals to complete questionnaires if it was found to be difficult for any patients to respond for ant reason. Envelopes were available for patients to return questionnaires by post if they preferred.
5. Detail the steps taken by the contractor to provide an opportunity for the PRG to discuss the contents of the action plan
Opportunity for the patient participation group to discuss our action plan/s occurs during group meetings. These occur several times a year. We encourage as many of our group members to attend as possible. Our meeting minutes are circulated to all members after the meeting to ensure that everyone is aware of what has been discussed. Over the past year our meetings have taken place on 12th April 2011, 3rd October 2011, 28th November 2011 and 19th March 2012.
6. Provide details of the action plan setting out how the findings or proposals arising out of the local practice survey can be implemented and, if appropriate, reasons why any such findings or proposals should not be implemented
There is no reason why our suggested action plan should not be implemented.
What areas did we all mutually agree as priorities for action and intervention?
Priority for action
Who needs to be involved?
What is an achievable time frame?
Waiting time & being informed of surgeries running late
- Booking in board to be configured to show the patient how many patients are waiting in front of them.
- Receptionists to routinely advise patients when booking in how many patients are in front of them.
- Receptionists to issued a general reminder when waiting room is full to all present to ensure that they have check in.
Receptionists and managers.
1. completed March 2012
2. Next training session will be held on Tuesday 15 May 2012
3. We hope for these changes to be put into place as soon as possible.
Reception staff training- advise patients about EP/ PW with aim of improving further our services to patients as best practice.
- We have ongoing staff training.
- We also propose to have a meeting with receptionists to reiterate the importance of good patient communication skills.
Receptionists and managers.
- Next training session will be held on Tuesday 15 May 2012
- Reception meeting 30.4.12
We hope for changes to be put into place as soon as possible as a result of these events and review of difficulties
Publicize extended hours
The extended hours will be publicized on the website front page so it is easier for patients to find out about this. New posters will also be put up in reception.
Natalie- administration assistant.
Completed March 2012
Separate appointment line
We are considering a separate appointment line for patients to be able to use when they telephone in. All other phone calls can go through the switchboard as normal.
All staff who manage telephone calls.
Waiting room music- used as a distraction to patient conversations at reception.
Consider use of a sign for patients to ask receptionists to turn radio off if preferred?- Vary type of music played to ensure that this may suit more varied tastes.
Advertise the out of hours service more prominently.
Out of hours service and how patients access this service will be advertised in the waiting room to ensure patients who are in the waiting room are more aware of this service.
We hope for these changes to be put into place as soon as possible.
Doctors room numbers
The rolling board could be altered to state the doctors rooms to make it easier for patients who have not visited a doctor before. Receptionists could also use room numbers when directing patients. Room numbers could also be placed on a sign.
Receptionists, Sarah, Natalie.
Doctors ‘not listening’-
‘Don’t go away unsatisfied, If your needs were not met or you did not understand something please speak to…..’
Notice boards- always the same
Natalie will alter these and will use themes to draw patients attention to each of the boards. These will be updated more regularly to ensure patients have new posters to look at.
Natalie, Becky and nurses.
Through out year.
7. Provide a summary of the evidence, including any statistical evidence, relating to the findings or basis of proposals arising out of the local practice survey
As can be seen in the bar graph below we are either similar to or above the average of other practices of a similar size. One point where we have fallen below average is for waiting times.
It was also found that 89% of all patient ratings about this practice were good, very good or excellent.
8. Confirm details of the action which the contractor,
i. and, if relevant, the PCT, intend to take as a consequence of discussions with
the PRG in respect of the results, findings and proposals arising out of the local
Incorporated into action plan above- three areas agreed with PPG and further areas as identified by GP surgery.
ii. where it has participated in the Scheme for the year, or any part thereof, ending
31 March 2012, has taken on issues and priorities as set out in the Local Patient
Actions taken are on-going and have completion dates within the action plan. As a result of the national survey undertaken last year areas for improvement were also identified which we had completed in conjunction with the PPG e.g. Access to practice nurse Appointments. These have been reviewed and additional capacity and a duty nurse scheme implemented to ensure improved patient access.
9. Detail the opening hours of the practice premises and the method of obtaining access to services throughout the core hours
As a reminder to all patients we are open from 8:00 AM every morning until 6:30 PM every evening.
Extended Hours Opening: (the practice offers extended hours appointments to patients please see details at section 10 below)
Our prescription service- takes enquiry phone calls between 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM every morning and 3:00PM to 4:00 PM every afternoon. Due to safety issues prescription requests can only be made over the phone if a GP has previously agreed to this. All other prescriptions can be put in our prescription boxes at the front desk in both surgeries. These will take 48 hours to process.
Patients can register with us to access EMIS access service:
EMIS Access: provides services from your practice to patients over the internet. Patients can use EMIS Access from a PC or from any other device that they use to access the internet, for example a mobile phone.
· Appointments: When patients have registered to use EMIS Access, they can log on to the EMIS Access website for your practice and manage their own appointments. On the EMIS Access website, patients can: View appointments they already have booked, View free appointment slots, Book a new appointment, cancel and existing appointment.
- Repeat Prescriptions: Repeat Prescribing enables a patient to send requests for repeat medication from the EMIS Access website to a GP's prescription request inbox.
If you wish to speak to our medical records administrator please call before 1:00 PM.
10. Clarify where the contractor has entered into arrangements under an extended hours access scheme, the times at which individual healthcare professionals are accessible to registered patients
Extended Hours Opening: (reviewed and agreed with PPG March 2012)
On Monday and Friday mornings and evenings we have extended surgeries in which doctors each cover an earlier or later surgery slot on rotation to ensure that any patients who are commuters and are therefore unable to make an appointment during our normal surgery hours are still able to have an appointment. All patients can use these services and can see any doctor even if they usually see the doctor with whom they are registered. These are not able to be booked online, please request one of these appointments from the receptionist. They run from 07:00 AM to 7:50 AM in the morning and 06:30 PM to 08:20 PM.
Unfortunately we do not run nurse appointments at these times.