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Torrington Park Group Practice

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Torrington Park Group Practice

     Patient Reference Group 


A message from Amanda Reilly (Practice Manager):


“The purpose of the Patient Reference 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 as a practice provide”.



During February and March of this year, 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 150 people of various ages, gender, occupation and ethnicity. Patients were asked to complete the form and also to indicate which areas they felt the practice should concentrate on. The results of our survey can be viewed by selecting the statistics tab above. As you can see from the graphical and numerical results, and also the areas highlighted by patients, we have identified the three main areas that patients feel need to be addressed by surgery.


  1. The Appointment System
  2. The Telephone
  3. Prescriptions          


We also started a discussion group via email. This gave us a greater understanding of the areas for improvement at 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.


What was discussed in the group?


The Appointment System


It was felt that the appointment system needs improving. Some patients felt when ringing for a same day appointment, it can be difficult to get through and that there are not enough appointments available.


The practice offers same day appointments with all the doctors. Emergency appointments are also available on a daily basis. Every doctor has pre-bookable appointments which can be booked up to 4 weeks in advance. We understand the difficulty and frustration that patients are experiencing when booking appointments, especially with specific doctors and we hope to be able to improve this.


We have had a notable increase of patients walking in for same day appointments. This greatly reduces the number of same day appointments available via telephone and is something we are going to look at changing.


Patients often do not attend their appointments which also reduces appointment availability. To help improve this, the practice now has a text messaging service to remind patients of their appointments and give them the opportunity to cancel. This has already helped with appointment availability.


The Telephone


The issue surrounding the telephones was the queuing system in the morning. This can sometimes be a lengthy wait as the automated system will hold 50 calls in a queue. It does tell you what number you are in the queue, giving you the option to wait or hang up. There are 6 receptionists answering the phones in the morning and although there may be a large number of calls ahead of you, they do get through the calls quickly.


The telephone issue from last year was also discussed. Patients felt that the charges for a 0844 number were too expensive. We have now implemented a 0203 number which costs the same as to call any other landline.


We still have the 0844 number running along side the 0203. This is because a queuing system is not available with the 0203. There are 6 lines running into the practice and if they are engaged you will only hear an engaged tone. This now gives patients the choice to queue by calling the 0844 number or to hang up and redial.




It was felt that prescription service could be improved. Patients have found they come in to collect their prescription and it hasn’t been ready.


We implemented a new clinical system this year. This meant all the prescription clerks had to be retrained to use the new system. It has taken some time but the surgery is back on track and patients are getting their prescriptions on time. Occasionally there may be a query on a prescription which can cause a delay, however the practice will ensure that it is dealt with as quickly as possible.  The practice policy is the same in that we request patients to wait for 48 hours before returning to collect their prescription. We are now able to accept prescription requests via our website and email which we find is much more convenient for patients who struggle to get to the surgery.




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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