Archived 2014

Welcome to Torrington Park Group Practice’s Patient Participation Group

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

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

If you are happy for us to contact you periodically, please complete our sign up form. This information will helps us speak to a representative sample of patients that are registered at this practice.

Results 2014

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.

Statistics 2014

Issues Raised By Patients In Our Survey

Below are comments and feedback given by patients, highlighting areas where they feel the practice could improve it’s service. The patient participation group used these as a point of discussionto identify the areas which should be prioritised by the practice. The outcome of this is available on the survey results tab above.

Patient feedback:

A limited weekend Saturday morning service for “emergency cases” (as in the past) to avoid having to wait hours in walk in and A E. 


Parking! I am forced to park in Sainsbury’s and this makes disabled people’s lives very difficult.

No need for change

Telephone call for appointments

Telephone and appointments impossible to access!

Admin, appt making. Medical staff are professional, compassionate and sensible – the mayhem and waiting for appointment is getting worse each year.

More availability of doctors even though this can be very hard.

The difficulty of getting through to the surgery by phone at 8.30am for an emergency appointment

Pre-arranged appointments

Seeing the same GP of your choice, it is important to have the same doctor who knows you- as it used to be. Fully understanding the large number of people who use this practice sometimes makes this difficult.

I know resources are stretched but a routine appointment can be too far into the future.

Ability to book appointments by email.

More staff on morning switchboard when booking appointments on the day. Otherwise I am real y happy with the service at the surgery.

I wish you could book for next day appointments

I would like to see receptionists that understand what you are saying and less excuses for appointments

Not having to wait so long for an appointment and being able to see one’s own doctor. Also, the same nurse each time for routine checks

I wish you could book an appointment for the next day.

I know resources are very stretched but a routine appointment can be too far into the future.

Ability to book appointments online.

The surgery Is excellent

If possible quicker connection to appointments when phoning in the mornings

The making of appointments via the telephone

Telephone appointments

1. Ease of access to my particular GP.

2. Improvement in prescription renewal.

Booking appointments on line. Getting the touch screen working to check in patients.

Open more telephone lines


Very strange appointment system.

Cutting down waiting times.

Prescriptions; length of time and accuracy

I am currently satisfied with the service I am receiving.

Answering the phone.

The 0830 booking appointment system is frustrating but better than waiting two weeks for an appointment

Opening surgeries on Saturday

Doctors and their level of support, at times I have felt a google search would have been better.

Doctors need to use experience and knowledge rather than Wikipedia.

Appointment system. I do not want to wait four weeks for an appointment

Create a direct appointments page on surgery website, direct access to doctors in 

emergencies, making appointments by email and text and receiving feedback for these.

Get rid of the 0844 number as it’s very expensive, earlier and later opening times, and more staff on the phones in the morning. Overall though a good experience with friendly staff.

Ring at 8.30am for appointment is not goes. It may be better to give appointments for the day after.

Very good surgery, Infect Excellent.

Appt System is not good – Waste of time and effort. Surgery is lucky to have Amanda and Doctors they are perfect and efficient.

We are happy with everything.

The 0203 number is difficult to get through on.

Shorten waiting time for appointments

Make Easy to contact surgery by phone also not able  to book and appt for 2 or 3 weeks ahead

In writing rather than by phone.

Overall this surgery is very good managed to get an appointment for emergency if needed.

To make it easier to make an appointment with a specific doctor.

More staff to look after increasing demands of surgery’s services. I.e. to help with phone calls in the morning.

Availability of emergency appointments. They are all gone if you call after 8.40am

Phone Service

Appointments System and appointment times restricted

I have sometimes had to wait over 10 minutes on the phone.

The 8.30am phoning is stressful although I have learnt to manage it. Perhaps more than once a day.

More staff for telephone appointments

Communication by email would be useful however I emailed the Speedwell practice this week to send a document to one of the doctors and I have had no response so I don’t know if they have received it. I therefore think some staff training is required.

Perhaps more in-house facilities; minor surgery, X-ray ect???

Getting an appointment earlier than two weeks in advance.

Appointments system is the biggest failure as you can’t make an appt in advance and have to either come in and wait or phone at 0830hrs then the queuing system on the phone keeps getting cut off.

Happy With Everything!

Surgery is well run. No complaints.