Patient Participation Directed Enhanced Service (DES) for GMS Contract
In 2011 the Gateshead Primary Care Trust, now Gateshead Clinical Commissioning Group, 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. This process of engaging with our patients and collecting their thoughts and opinions on the services we provide continues in 2015.
The 2011/12 group consisted of 15 women and 8 men, aged between 18 – 79, and white British ethnicity. In 2013 the group increased in size to 30 participants, 18 women and 12 men. The 2014 group remained the same.
PPG and Practice Staff to review patient feedback received by the practice and agree on changes to services
In December 2014 the surgery sent an email to the PPG to update them on our progress from the plan we made as a result of the 2014 practice survey (Appendix 1).
We planned to increase the use of online appointments and prescriptions, ease congestion in the waiting room by decreasing the queue at Reception, install a hearing loop to improve communication with our deaf patients and improve the waiting room.
All of these objectives were achieved. The EmisWeb clinical system was installed which eliminated an ongoing problem that patients were experiencing with online services, an automated arrivals system was installed in the waiting room, along with a hearing loop at the reception desk and all the chairs in the waiting room were reupholstered.
The PPG were asked to help us formulate a plan for 2015. The group was also informed of our pending visit by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) and was asked for their consent to be contacted by the CQC inspectors.
At present we have not had received our CQC inspection report, but feedback from the inspectors on the day has resulted in the Practice ensuring that the all members of practice staff are now involved in reviewing and developing learning outcomes from any complaints, comments and incidents that occur in the Practice.
The surgery is also undertaking the Family and Friends Questionnaire.
Identification of Key Priorities
The surgery asked the PPG members of their thoughts for the key priorities for the action plan, as well as considering comments from other patients and organizations.
Access – Access to GPs and Health Care Professionals is an ongoing and often reported issue from our patients. On a daily basis our Reception Team will receive a comment from a patient about the difficulty in accessing appointments within the time frame that they wish to be seen. While the surgery endeavors to see all of our patients within an acceptable period and will see all patients presenting with urgent problems, we acknowledge that attempts could be made to improve further. A PPG member agreed “I do think the possibility of telephone appointments is worth exploring. I used this service in the past at my Mothers surgery and save numerous unnecessary appointments as a quick 2 minute chat on the phone was all that was needed.”
Improving Services for Patient Groups – A member of staff attended a meeting with Gateshead Crossroads, a charity which helps unpaid Carers in the Gateshead Area. The meeting highlighted issues and challenges that Carers face when caring for a friend or relative. We put the idea of making carers one of our priority areas to the PPG and they agreed. One member stated “I think carers are normally overlooked by society, not realizing how much their contribution aids an ever-changing, longer-living population, which will put a strain on our much loved and admired NHS.”
Flu Jabs – The Surgery would like to improve the administration process of the Influenza vaccine to our patients in care homes. We believe that this would be a welcome change as we received a number of telephone calls from Care home staff and relatives of patients in the homes stating that they had not had their vaccine late on in this year’s flu campaign. The vaccines were administered by the local District Nursing team this year and unfortunately their high workload leads to delays for our patients. The surgery would like to work with our District Nursing colleagues to improve the service for 2015.
Practice and PPG to develop action plan for implementing changes based on at least three key priorities
Based upon the responses to our previous email to the PPG, the surgery developed an action plan which was sent to the PPG for approval (Appendix 2). No PPG member chose to make a comment about this email.
It was decided that the surgery should look at access, Flu vaccinations and improving services for carers are areas that could be improved in 2015.
Access – To improve access the surgery will run a trial of telephone consultations. Currently all patients are seen in face to face consultation with GPs, but it is believed that occasionally the patient could be given advice on the phone. All patients wishing to be seen in person will be allowed to do so but a telephone consultation will be offered as an alternative if it is deemed appropriate. Telephone consultations may increase the number of patients gaining access to a GP, especially at times when there may be restricted availability of appointments.
Flu Jabs – Due to the workload experienced by our District Nursing colleagues, the administration of the influenza vaccine to our elderly and frail patients was delayed this year, potentially making these vulnerable to illness. We propose using our own Nurses to carry out the home visits to the most at risk patients, those residing in Nursing and Residential Homes.
Improving Services for Patient Groups – Due to the contact that the surgery has had with Gateshead Crossroads, the Gateshead Charity dedicated to Carers, and the feedback from a PPG member, we would like to attempt to improve services for this patient group. This would involve identifying patients who are Carers, and making them aware of the services that are available to them. Many people do not identify themselves as Carers, for example a wife looking after a sick husband, and as a result they are not aware of the support available to them. The support that the Carer may be able to access could be financial or support for their own health and wellbeing.
Practice to implement improvements and publicise actions taken to practice population
The Practice will attempt to implement the action plan during 2015/2016 and will provide the PPG an update of our progress in the Autumn 2015.
Publish the Local Patient Participation Report on the Practice Webesite