Archived 2013

Welcome to Torrington Park Group Practice’s Patient Participation Group

In this section you can view our latest survey, patient feedback, statistics and be kept updated on practice developement. 

Perhaps you are interested in partaking in our next meeting? Or would just like to give your feedback? Why not join in by completing our sign up form?

Results 2013

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.

Statistics 2013

Example Of The Survey Used


Torrington Park Group Practice – Patient Survey

At Torrington Park Group Practice we aim to provide the best service possible.  In order to achieve and maintain a high level of patient care, we would appreciate your views on how we can improve or change our practice.  Below are a series of questions designed to help us identify patient requirements and areas for possible improvement.  Please answer honestly and you may remain anonymous if you wish.  Please circle your answers.

Part A:  About You – 

Name                                                                                       Age                              

Occupation                                                                  Ethnicity                                   

Part B:  Your Experience –

  1. How would you best describe the cleanliness of the waiting room?

Very Poor    Poor    Satisfactory    Good    Very Good    Excellent

  1. How would you rate the availability of information provided in the waiting room?

Very Poor    Poor    Satisfactory    Good    Very Good    Excellent

  1. How do you find the level of customer service from the reception staff?

Very Poor    Poor    Satisfactory    Good    Very Good    Excellent

  1. How helpful and informative were the reception staff?

Very Poor    Poor    Satisfactory    Good    Very Good    Excellent

  1. How well do you feel the Doctor/Nurse treated you professionally?

Very Poor    Poor    Satisfactory    Good    Very Good    Excellent

  1.  Overall how would you rate your consultation with the Doctor/Nurse?

Very Poor    Poor    Satisfactory    Good    Very Good    Excellent

Part C: Accessibility – 

  1. Would you rate contacting the surgery as

Very Poor    Poor    Satisfactory    Good    Very Good    Excellent

  1. How accessible do you find contacting the Doctor/Nurse by telephone?

Very Poor    Poor    Satisfactory    Good    Very Good    Excellent

  1. Were you able to book an appointment that suited you, e.g. a choice of dates, times and Doctor/Nurse?

Very Poor    Poor    Satisfactory    Good    Very Good    Excellent

  1. How well does the surgery accommodate you and your needs regarding opening and closing hours?

Very Poor    Poor    Satisfactory    Good    Very Good    Excellent

  1. How would you rate the surgery’s prescription service when requesting a repeat prescription?

Very Poor    Poor    Satisfactory    Good    Very Good    Excellent

  1. Overall how would you rate the standard of service provided by the practice?

Very Poor    Poor    Satisfactory    Good    Very Good    Excellent

Part D: Additional Services – 

  1. Are you aware that this is a training and teaching practice accommodating students and registrars?

Yes             No

  1. Are you happy to have a student or registrar present at your consultation?

Yes             No

  1. Are you aware of the different clinics held at the practice?

Yes             No

  1. Do you feel more information about the clinics would be beneficial to you?

Yes             No

  1. If you have been referred to secondary care e.g. a hospital service, did you find this an easy process?

Yes             No

If you had to choose one area for the practice to improve upon what would it be and why?

The practice will shortly be conducting a patient participation meeting, if you would possibly like to partake in this please indicate below.

Yes – I would be interested in participating, please contact me regarding this

No – I would not like to participate at this time

Torrington Park Group Practice would like to thank you for completing this survey and we appreciate your time.

Questionnaire not available

Issues Raised By Patients In Our Survey

Below are comments made by patients, highlighting areas they feel the practice could improve it’s service. The discussion of these took place in our group meeting and the outcome is available on the survey results tab above.

Appointments have to be booked three weeks in advance but if they are all taken  (especially if you want to see a particular doctor) you have to wait until the next block of appointments are reloaded- why are they not done on a rolling basis? Same day appointments are a nightmare, the phones are always engaged and when you do get through all the appointments are gone. I have had to turn up physically very early in order to try and get an appointments – this is not practical if you are dealing with elderly people or if you have young children. Please think of something to improve the system.

From my answers it will be obvious that in all the years that I have been a patient ( twenty years) I have had excellent treatment from doctors, nurses and reception staff.

In other countries they separate the sick from the well. Over the last few years, things are improving.

Getting an appointment with the GP and not having to wait three weeks.

More ease for booking appointments punctually of appointments. Keep a chair free for the BP machine in waiting room and make patients aware of the machine.

Making an appointment with a chosen doctor is difficult and could be improved however the staff are all great.

Make it possible to see the same doctor – continuity of care

Nursing team, more resourceful, more support

Better queuing on the phone and less waiting time for appointment availability.

Annual health checks are provided at other surgeries but not here. Why?

Long wait at 8.30am for same day visit to see a doctor.

It Is difficult to build a relationship with a doctor because having to wait a few weeks to see the same doctor is ridiculous.

Booking an appointment on the day is almost impossible. The wait till a date to a doctor is very long.

Larger notices about using mobile phones.

People using mobile phones in the waiting room is very annoying.

Request to speak to GP to be acknowledged.

Telephone booking.

I suffer from white coat syndrome and this is the only practice I have felt comfortable at.

Appointment booking online.

Very happy with the service both doctors and receptionists provide

Telephone system

trying to get an appointment in the morning is difficult, even with the new number.Also, elderly people may not be able to queue in the cold in the morning.

New number is never answered.

Telephone system at 8.30am

Very satisfied

More information needs to be provided about how to contact a doctor on the phone etc..

Getting appointments

Prescription should be processed quicker.

new number is never answered.

Appointments system.

Appointments system.

Contacting the District Nurses is very difficult. They do not always wash their hands on visits and they should.

The new Phone number is always engaged.

Booking an advance appointment is not easy as many are saved for same day emergencies.

Improve prescription service. Patients should not have to come into surgery twice to collect – phone or email.


No answer or information on queue times on new phone number.

Appointments – I had to try for three days to get an appointment.

Customer service of staff.

More appointments available outside of normal working hours.

Appointment system at 8.30am

Appointment system


Waiting time for appointment with doctor.

The practice is very heavily oversubscribed, so the ‘same day’ appointment system does not always leave you with the Doctor of your choice. If it were possible to make an appointment with a particular doctor at a sooner time this would be helpful.

Make next day appointments available.

Very pleased with the service.

Prescriptions are never ready.

Hardly ever use the practice so everything is satisfactory for my needs.

Answer the phone, pre-bookable appointments are too far ahead.


Telephone contact; being on hold (as number 1 in the queue) for 15 minutes.

Great staff!

Firstly, the waiting time for an appointment is terrible. Doctors can run over an hour making you wait for you allocated appointment time. Secondly, booking an appointment is frustrating.

Appointments. This 8.30 system is hopeless.

Phone lines are always engaged at 8.30am. It is frustrating after waiting twenty to thirty minutes the appointments are all gone. There must be another option.

Appointments system, Would it be possible for two or more people to do the appointments system in the morning. It is very very expensive to hang on for so long.

More appointments and Doctors.

A pool of appointments so you can see the doctor sooner rather than later. It’s always 1-3 weeks.

Often put on hold whilst ringing for a long time. Also, 0844 number is very expensive from mobile.

Appointment system

Difficult to get through on the phones, but once through an excellent service is provided.

Booking appointments in person for next 2/3 days.

Booking appointments. If people do not show for appointments, blacklist them.

Appointment times available via the phone in the morning really needs to be improved.

Phoning for same day appointments, waiting for twenty minutes and not receiving one.

Appointment system is very very poor.

Making appointments; the system is greatly overloaded. It is very difficult to get through, when you do, you are put on hold and then all the appointments are gone i.e. on 13/2/2013 I phoned at 4.10pm and was put on hold for 18 minutes. This is unacceptable and inefficient.

Getting appointments seriously lets this practice down.