Patient Participation Directed Enhanced Service (DES) for GMS Contract
In 2011 the Gateshead Primary Care Trust asked the surgery to create a Patient Participation Group. The aim of the group was to ensure that patients are involved in decisions about the range and quality of services provided and, over time, commissioned by their practice.
In 2011/12 a Patient Participation Group was first established and asked to make comment about issues that they felt were important about the surgery and was also invited to help the surgery implement improvements as a result of the 2012 Practice survey.
Establish a PPG comprising only of registered patients
The 2011/12 group consisted of 15 women and 8 men, aged between 18 – 79, and white British ethnicity. The surgery recruited new patients via email, asking if they would like to take part and the group increased in size to 30 participants, 18 women and 12 men.
Agree with the PPG which issues are a priority and include these in a local practice survey
In 2011/12 the PPG decided that access to the Surgery and appointments were a major concern. Therefore in an attempt to address this issue and as a result of the 2012 Patient Survey, and with agreement from the PPG, the Surgery conducted a Trial of online appointments. The Trial took place over three months, from July until September. Although the number of patients using this system was initially low, feedback from patients, including members of the PPG, has been largely positive. Therefore the Surgery has made online appointment booking a permanent facility available to Patients.
An email was sent to the PPG on 22/10/2012(Appendix A)informing them of the results of the trial and also offering them the opportunity to feed back to the Practice. Please see below a selection of comments that we received form the PPG. One of the comments notes that they would like to see more clinics available. At the present time only GP appointments can be booked online.
‘Although I didn’t actually book an appointment online, I did have a look at www.patient.co.uk to see how easy it would be for me to book. I use this to order my repeat prescription every month and I think it is a fantastic service that Fell Tower operates.
I am not someone who likes to go on the phone in front of colleagues to order prescriptions or to make Drs appointments – so to be able to do this silently online at work is brilliant.’
‘I would have absolutely no hesitation in using this service if it was available in the future to book an appointment. Used online booking for the first time. Agree with others comments that it is very user friendly.’
‘I haven’t used the on-line appointment system as yet (a good thing really!) but noticed it when ordering my repeat prescriptions. It is a system I will use when necessary and I look forward to the system expanding to include the nurse practitioners. I recently booked by telephone a smear test and my flu jab but only after checking whether I could book the appointments on-line first. I find the system very clear and quick and easy to use so will continue to do so in the future.’
Collate patient views through local practice survey and inform PPG of the findings
The Surgery carried out its Local Practice Survey in January and February 2013. We used the General Practice Assessment Questionnaire (GPAQ) version 3 (Appendix B)The GPAQ questionnaire was used by the surgery in 2012 and as many of the questions focuses on patient access it was felt that it was a valid tool to be used again this year, as access to the surgery continues to be a prime concern for patients.
The PPG was sent an email (Appendix C) allowing them the opportunity to complete the questionnaire and inviting them to give feedback to the practice.
The questionnaire was handed out to patients by Reception when a patient presented for their appointment with a GP. The patients were asked to complete some the questionnaire before their appointment and complete it after they had been seen. Patients who were not handed a questionnaire by Reception were offered one by the GP who they saw, together with a stamped address envelope to return it.
Provide PPG with the opportunity to comment and discuss findings of the local practice survey
Agree with the PPG an action plan setting out the prorities and proposals arising out of the local practice survey
The results of the questionnaire once again focused on the problem of getting through to the surgery, with telephone lines often engaged at busy times. Therefore it was felt that the surgery should attempt to extend the use of the online facilities.
In the period 15/7/2012 – 18/3/2013 a total of 157 appointments had been booked online by 89 patients. We would like to improve on this and plan to improve the advertising of the service within the surgery building and encourage Practice Staff to verbally inform patients of the availability of online appointments.
We also plan to extend the number of clinics available to book online, to include some Nurses appointments e.g. flu clinics.
A PPG member has also noted that the surgery may be excluding patients who do not have access to online information, therefore we plan to improve the information displayed in Reception to make it clear and accessible to all patients.
An email (appendix F) was sent to the group informing them of our proposal to extend, and improve the use of, online appointments and allow them an opportunity to provide feedback. Two PPG members chose to respond to the email with the following comments, the second of which will be discussed and acted upon.
‘Sounds good. Really like the fact you act upon results of survey so quickly.’
‘I, myself, have found your online service very easy to manage so it suits me well. However, not everyone has the means to go online. With regard to bringing your online services to the attention of more patients who have the technology, have you considered preparing paper information flyers?’
Publish the Local Patient Participation Report on the Practice Website
The results of the Local Practice Survey and the Local Patient Participation report can be found online at www.felltowermedicalcentre.nhs.uk
Email to PPG Re: Trial of online appointments
The General Practice Assessment Questionnaire (GPAQ)
Email to PPG Re: Local Patient Survey
Local Patient Questionnaire: Summary of Results
Email to PPG Re: Summary of Results
Email to PPG Re: Proposed Plans