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Torrington Park Group Practice

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Torrington Park Group Practice Patient Participation Group  





A message from Amanda Reilly (Practice Manager):


“The purpose of the Patient Participation Group is to ensure that patients are involved in decisions about the range and quality of services that are provided at this practice.  It aims to encourage this practice to routinely ask for and act on the views of our patients.  This includes patients being involved in decisions that lead to changes to the services that we provide”.







Over the last 5 months, the practice collected feedback via our Patient Participation Questionnaire which listed a range of questions not only about the services we provide but also about the indirect services as well, such as customer service, the appointment system and patient satisfaction.


The questionnaire was successfully completed by over 200 patients of various ages, gender, occupation and ethnicity. Patients were asked to complete the form and also leave feedback to indicate which areas they felt the practice should try to improve on. The results of our survey can be viewed by selecting the ‘statistics’ and ‘issues raised’ tabs above.


The results and feedback were presented to our patient participation group who highlighted the three main areas for the practice to improve on. These were:


1. Booking appointments & getting through on the telephone


2. Disabled Parking


3. Seeing the GP of your choice


It was decided by the group that booking appointments and getting through on the telephone should be made a priority by the practice.


We were very pleased to have received a lot of constructive feedback that we can take forward and hopefully use to implement changes at the practice. Below is a report of what was discussed by the group and how the practice intends to improve on the areas they identified.




Booking appointments & getting through on the telephone



The entire group felt strongly that having to telephone for an appointment was both inconvenient and costly. It was agreed that working to improve this should be made a priority by the practice.

It was pointed out that as we are living in an internet age, appointments should be available to book online. The group recognised that not all patients have internet access and so a good proportion of appointments should still be bookable via telephone, giving patients a choice in how they access the surgery. It was felt that booking online appointments would reduce the number of telephone calls to the practice therefore making it easier to get through on the telephone.

The practice will aim to have online appointments readily available within six months; starting with a small percentage of appointments and then expanding to meet increasing use as more patients sign up to use the service.



Disabled Parking


Not all the group agreed with this issue however it stood out to most of them when reviewing the feedback from our patient survey. Some of the group said that they have had to park at the local supermarket or pay for street parking as there are not enough bays at the health centre.

There are disabled bays located at the front of the health centre and additional bays located at the back. There is also the option for badge holders to park on the street. Unfortunately the addition of more disabled parking bays is out of the control of the practice as the building does not belong to us; however we are happy to make enquiries with the building managers to see if this is something they could accommodate in the future.




Seeing the GP of your choice



This was picked up by the group as something they have also experienced. They find that they can see their usual GP but may have a longer wait for an appointment when booking in advance.

Each GP at the practice has pre-bookable and same day appointments as well as extra appointments for emergencies. Should your preferred GP be unavailable, another GP will have access to your full medical records and will be able to speak to your usual GP where necessary.

The idea of telephone consultations was also discussed by the group. Patients are already able to speak to their GP on the telephone but it seems not all patients are aware of this. The practice will therefore endeavour to improve advertising of GP availability and how best to contact the GP.





Improvement from last year






We were pleased to see the concerns raised by our patients with regards to our telephone number dramatically reduced in the last year since the introduction of a 0203 number to run alongside the 0844 number. We have kept the 0844 number as there is not a queuing system available to us with the 0203 number at present.

There are six telephone lines running into the practice and if they are all in use, you will get an engaged tone when using the 0203 number. This gives patients the choice to queue by dialling the 0844 number or to hang up and redial using the 0203 number.






Last year, patients found a delay in getting their prescriptions. This was due to the practice changing our clinical computer system. We are glad to say that our service is back to normal and prescriptions are ready within 48hours.

We have also had a great response to our website. An increased number of patients are requesting their prescriptions online.

Later in the year, we hope to start using electronic prescribing which will allow patients to collect their prescriptions directly from their chosen pharmacy, rather than having to collect from the surgery.



Appointments System:



The appointment system has been a topic of discussion this year also and we believe with the continuing input of our patient participation group, we will be able to improve our appointment system even more.

The text messaging service for reminding patients of their appointments and allowing them to cancel appointments via text message has been a great success. Wasted appointments are at an all-time low so the text messaging service has most certainly increased appointment availability at the practice.






At The Torrington Park Group Practice we are continually looking at ways to improve our service and patient feedback is always welcome. We really appreciate the input of our patients and would like to thank all those who participated this year.



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