The basis for forming a group was to give the patients a voice on matters of importance to them within the Practice and to influence key decisions made by the Practice.
We advertised for our PRG (Patient Representative Group) via our website, posters in the waiting rooms, the counterfoil on our prescriptions and our monthly newsletter. As previously documented, our PPG remains not as representative of our Practice population as we had hoped. We continually advertise, and recently have successfully recruited a new member to the group who will join in April 2015 and he is in the younger age group. To date we have been unsuccessful in recruiting the 18-44 age groups required. We have a member who is disabled, therefore they represent this area of our Practice Population. We have tried in vain to recruit a more representative group by advertising in all available areas for additional members of a younger age and more diverse
The members of the PRG are also still actively trying to recruit new members in the groups required.
Reception staff are also aware of the need for new members and are encouraged to promote the PRG wherever possible to potential new members.
The PRG has members which are all within two similar age brackets. This is not truly representative of the Practice population, although we do have more patients in this age bracket than that of a younger group. The group is well represented for sex with an equal balance of male and female members.
The group only represents the White British ethnic group and is therefore once again not truly representative of the Practice population, although this group does form the majority of our practice population.
The information below shows the profile of the PRG
|39 Practice Manager||Female||White British||No|
|42 GP Partner||Female||British Asian||No|
As we now no longer have a Patient survey we used the following sources of feedback to be reviewed during the year:
Friends and Family Test
Feedback and Suggestions
Comments passed to staff
We came up with 3 areas of priority to be discussed and action plans to be put in place, these were ;
Online Access for prescription ordering.
Discussions with the group regarding access for pre-bookable appointments. Patients are often asked to ring back on another day as more available slots become available each day. There are no current issues around urgent/on-the day appointments.
It was decided to bring this area to a Practice partners meeting for discussion around possibly changing the current system to make it more amenable to patients wishing to pre-book. It was suggested that appointments slots are freed up for use slightly earlier than is currently in place.
An audit was done to show how long patients had to wait for the next pre-bookable appointment with each GP. This was presented at the partners meeting and discussions around this were held.
It was decided at the meeting that the Reception staff would inform senior staff when there was a significant period of wait time for a pre-bookable appointment. This would then allow senior staff to monitor and review appointments and make more pre-bookable appointments available at these busier times.
It was also decided that on certain days of the week there would be more availability to book appointments in the future for all available
GP’s rather than the slots being blocked until the same day.
This will allow patients requiring appointments further in the future to allow for working days etc. to book these without having to ring back day after day.
This will be publicised on our website and made known to patients verbally where relevant.
Following feedback and suggestions from patients it was apparent they they would welcome the option of
electronic prescribing particularly for those patients with multiple and regular medication. This would avoid lost prescriptions.
It was discussed at Practice partners meetings and agreed that we would progress to electronic prescribing for repeat medication only as a priority rather than waiting until this was an actual requirement.
Electronic prescribing was introduced into the Practice in July 2014.
This enables patients to collect prescriptions without needing to attend the Practice.
It frees up GP time and paperwork as the prescriptions are signed electronically rather than on a hard copy.
It frees up Reception staff time as there are no prescriptions to file and give out to patients.
There are no more lost prescriptions as there are no hard copies to be misplaced.
Housebound/disabled/end-of-life patients are particularly benefited by this new service.
Online Access for prescriptions ordering.
Following many requests from patients to be able to order prescriptions on line as well as via E-Mail
(which we already offer)
We decided to activate online access for this as well as for appointments and access to medical records.
A meeting was held between senior staff members and GP’s to decide upon what access levels and areas we would activate within our Practice, Online access as described was then activated.
Patients were notified of this via our website, newsletter, posters around the Practice and patient leaflet.
The feedback we have had from patients has been very positive. Patient groups that have been particularly advantaged by this new service have been working patients, the housebound, elderly and those with mobility issues.
Regarding our reminder system area of priority, we have now completed our set up of SMS text messaging reminders.
Patients now receive a text message reminder upon booking an appointment, the day prior to their appointment and if they fail to attend an appointment.
The refurbishment of the waiting room has now been completed.
GP of choice: As our most recent joining partner now has her own patient following, the pressure on the remaining partners has been reduced therefore balancing appointment usage more fairly.
This has allowed patients in most circumstances to have more choice of GP.