Patient Reference Group

During autumn 2011 a poster was displayed in all of the waiting areas asking for volunteers to join our Patient Reference Group (PRG). We had been unsuccessful in the past so this time we offered to include a Virtual Group (vPRG) as we thought that if patients didn’t want to come to the surgery to have these meetings we might get more interest if we could contact them by email. At first we didn’t have any response to our posters therefore staff started to approach patients face to face to try and gain interest. In January we eventually had seven patients interested in joining this group, their preference was to be contacted by email.
Our poster invited members from all backgrounds, e.g. retired, working people, mixed age ranges etc. The seven interested registered patients include one retired member, one teacher, two full time working members, one young Mother and two full time students.
Our AIM for this group is to enhance the Practice by working alongside all the practice staff whenever there are any suggestions or need for change within the Practice.
  • Develop a structure

  • Agree any areas

  • Collate patient views through ongoing surveys that are relevant to the practice needs.

  • Agree any action plan if changes required

  • Publicise the survey findings to patient population

The group felt that initially the areas that they would like to know about was our access and how patients regarded our staff. Therefore a questionnaire was developed and handed to the patients when they attended the surgery at both sites.
During the past year the practice has completed three patient surveys.
During the week commencing 3rd October 2011 the practice took part in the Managing Access Audit that was recommended by South Tyneside Commissioning Group, this looked at both access and our telephone system. The practice scored above the norm in rating by patients of the ‘ease of which they can get through in the telephone’ but is was highlighted that staff need to be dedicated to answering the telephone, they need to stop any tasks they are doing and answer the call as a priority.
National Patient Survey 2011
This survey is carried out by the Department of Health, the information is taken from registered patients who were asked various questions regarding how easy or difficult is it to see or speak to a doctor at the practice. These graphs are available from the GP Patient Survey website.
We also completed a personal survey during February/March 2012. As access is always an issue it was deemed important to get the views of our patients regarding this and also how they feel about our staff. A copy of the patient survey used can be viewed by clicking here.
The results were shared with the vPRG in March 2012, the key issues from the survey were:
Helpfulness of receptionist and admin staff
Ravensworth Surgery – 87% found the staff very helpful, 20% found them fairly helpful, only one person didn’t respond.
The Medical Centre – 64% found the staff very helpful, 32 % found them fairly helpful, 2% not very helpful and 2% didn’t know.
Service Provided
Ravensworth Surgery – 66% felt the service provided in the surgery was excellent, 30% thought the service was very good and 4% thought it was good.
The Medical Centre – 52% felt the service provided was excellent, 32% thought it was very good, 12% thought it was good and 4% thought it was fair.
Able to see a GP urgently (on the same day)
Ravensworth Surgery – 62% were able to see a GP on the same day, 10% said they couldn’t and the remaining 28% hadn’t needed to have a same day appointment.
The Medical Centre – 52% were able to see a GP on the same day, 24% said they couldn’t and 24% hadn’t needed a same day appointment.
We asked what additional opening hours would make it easier to see or speak to someone for a routine appointment
Ravensworth Surgery
Before 8am 6%
At lunch time 28%
After 6pm 60%
None of these 18%
2 patients did not respond
The Medical Centre
Before 8am 10%
At lunch time 16%
After 6pm 44%
None of these 14%
8 patients didn’t respond
The new PRG is small and in it’s infancy but it is hoped that by establishing a vPRG we will be able to expand this to have a wider representation from patients and to have both a virtual and a face to face group.
From the National Patient Survey the practice met the South Tyneside PCT’s expectations on most of the questions. This was very complimentary to the practice; the only negative one was ‘how often are you able to get an appointment with your preferred doctor’. After sharing these results with the PRG it was agreed that our response to this singular negative feed back was correct-that the only time patients are unable to see their preferred doctor would be if they were requesting an urgent appointment. All pre-bookable appointments can be made for either site to enable the patients to request a specific doctor and therefore there is nothing further that can be done in this respect.
From the Practice Survey it was noted that we were quite high in all of the questions, therefore we aim to provide the same standard in the coming year. We are going to create another survey with the same questions and incorporate ones that will encompass the results from the access survey, it was agreed with the PRG that this would be done by end June 2012.
Practice leaflet
Practice website
NHS Choices website
Notice Board in waiting areas
Actions were emailed to vPRG in March 2012
Leaflet available in waiting areas
Updated website
Ravensworth Surgery is a leading GP surgery in South Shields. Our doctors and nurses pride themselves on delivering outstanding NHS medical care at our health care centres. We have GP doctor surgeries based in South Shields (Ravensworth Surgery) and Jarrow (The Medical Centre). If you would like further information please contact us on 0191 455 2093.

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