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Final Report on Patient Reference Survey 2012



The basis for the survey and full compile of the results and statistics along with the action plan as outlined below can be seen in the PDF that this information is taken from, this can be downloaded from the Documents & Downloads section of this website.


 Patient Participation Action Plan  


A meeting went ahead on Monday 19th March for all parties (the Patient Reference Group (PRG) members, Patient Participation Group (PPG), GPs & Practice staff) to discuss the outcomes of their survey.

It was put to the patient groups that the action plan should focus on 5 areas of concern as highlighted from the survey. I.e. the most commented on topics from the survey. It is indicated from the reply statistics, that these areas are where the Practice was not performing to the satisfaction of a significant proportion of its patients.  The patient groups agreed that the action plan should focus on these five subjects. The five topics were:

  • The difficulty in making appointments /availability
  • Continuity of Care /getting to see the same GP
  • Having to discuss medical matters with a receptionist
  • The Practice telephone system
  • The Practice Opening hours/improving awareness

A further 6th topic was raised during the course of the meeting to be included on the Plan. This was put forward by the Patient Participation Group and all agreed it should be included.

  • The ambulance service at Market Drayton

The topics were discussed in turn and several action points were highlighted within each. It was discussed with the group that some changes are already being made to the way the Practice operates and these changes are incorporated into the plan where relevant.


 1: Making Appointments Top 

Changes are already being trialed to how routine appointments are released and to how the triage system is operated. These were discussed.


  • The PPG will be involved in the wording of the promotional materials and information leaflets that are used to promote changes coming from this action plan.
  • The changes will be promoted as broadly as possible (online, local paper and in leaflet form etc.)
  • A simple leaflet will be produced on the way the Triage system and minor illness clinic operates. This will be made available at outlets around the town.
  • Online appointments will be introduced (from April/May) to relieve pressure on the phone system, give patients the opportunity to book their appointments at times more convenient to them and to better track, cancel and manage their appointments.
  • The Practice to review the recall system they use for medication reviews and chronic disease clinics, all changes to this system to be published and publicised.


 2: Continuity of Care Top 

It was explained that there may always be some difficulties in patients always seeing the GP of their choice. Some GPs are more in demand than others and not all GPs are fulltime.  It was decided that further information should be made available for patients so that they may look at consulting a different GP for their needs.

  • Better use of the Staff noticeboard to give a clear picture of GP working times, an indication of any interests (medical) that a GP may have. Better advertisement of our Registrars and the timescales for which they join & leave the Practice. PPG to be involved in promoting this information to the public.


 3: Discussing Medical Matters Top 

  • A strict protocol to be introduced (based on the Shropdoc triage system) for receptionists to follow; to keep patients more informed & to standardise the procedure. To be reviewed at a PPG workshop.


 4: Telephone System Top 

  • The telephone messages when contacting the Practice to be reviewed with clarification and reduction in length being priority.
  • The options to be reviewed to make sure patients are directed as quickly as possible to the service they want.
  • The above to be more thoroughly discussed at a PPG workshop.
 5: Opening Hours Top 
  • The Practice opening hours will be advertised in the above mentioned leaflets to increase awareness.
  • At present the doctors do not plan to extend current Practice opening hours, but it will be kept as a discussion point for future meetings.


 6: Ambulance Service Top 

Although not part of the survey, it was discussed and there was strong feeling that the future of the ambulance service in Market Drayton should be included on the action plan.

  • A meeting to be arrange between GPs and the PPG to discuss the withdrawal of the ambulance service from Market Drayton.


Monitoring & Outcomes


This is area is reserved for reporting the outcomes and monitoring the progress of the Action Plan. All changes and proposals made under the action plan will be publicised and attached to this full report.


Throughout the year April 2012 – March 2013 The Practice and Patient groups will be focused on taking the action plan forward. These will take the form of workshops and formal meetings.


The next meeting to discuss the progress so far is scheduled for 10th May 2012.


 Priorities Top 


At the first meeting the Practice will report on:


  • The outcome of the trial alterations it has made to its appointment system
  • The outcome on its trial change to the Triage System
  • The progress on setting up an online appointments system
  • The PPG will form a workshop to look at the telephone queuing system


 Actions Already Underway Top 

Currently the Practice is trialing a different approach to its appointment system, up until recently many appointments were held back for release until 24 or 48 hours before the actual day and many others were reserved for very specific purposes (clinics etc.).


This has created the situation were patients were constantly being asked to call back the following day in the hope that the few released appointments were available for booking.


The Practice has stopped this, now all but a handful of appointments are available for booking as far ahead as the rotas go (4weeks). This means appointments with GPs are now released like the nurses in weekly blocks and not drip fed as previously. This means the ‘call back at 8.30am’ practise can stop – considerably easing congestion on the phone system and giving patients a far broader opportunity to book ahead for routine appointments.


The Practice has seen an immediate and positive impact on the appointment system following this change; we will continue to monitor the changes and if everything remains satisfactory will make them permanent.


The triage system has been altered on Mondays to accommodate the demands of the busiest day of the Practice week.


Under the trial changes 2 GPs perform telephone triaging of the patients (previously 1 GP & 2 Nurses). The 2 nurses now run minor illness clinics. Patients with minor illness symptoms can be booked an appointment directly by our receptionist on the day, without need for a telephone call.


The Practice is monitoring this change and its impact on demand and on its staff. Aspects of this trial may be extended to the rest of the week.


The Practice has paid for the set-up of, and training on the online appointments module of the clinical computer system. We are awaiting confirmation of staff training from our clinical supplier but anticipate this to occur early in 2013. 


 Outcome & Changes made during 2012 Top 

  • An all day Nurse Practitioner service for minor illness, triaged by the receptionists using an algorithm devised by the doctors and nurses.
  • Daily “Telephone access” to a Duty doctor for emergency symptoms.
  • Published surgery duty times for each of the doctors, on the Practice notice board, Practice leaflet and on the web site. To make patients more aware of their GP’s working hours, and identifying those doctors who have reduced the number of days they now work at the Medical Centre. This is also a good method of introducing the new doctors & registrars to our patients.
  • The practice has shortened and streamlined the recorded message on the telephone system, which gives out patient information, hopefully making it a quicker process to get through on the phone.
  • The introduction of “on line” appointment booking (more details here) for those patients who are unable to get access to a telephone in a working day. Please note these slots are only available for routine GP appointments.

The Practice has now launched the Patient Survey for 2013. Please see this section of the website for more details.



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