Local Patient Participation Report
12 March 2014
The Practice population and members of the PPG:
The current PPG membership is representative of members of the practice population aged over 45 years and reflects the patients who have a certain level of free time or have flexibility around their working lives.
There are six members of the group, three male and three female representatives.
Age profile:
2 members:   45 - 55 years  (I male, 1 female)
3 members:   60 – 68 years (2 male,1 female)
1 member:     70 years +      (female)
The PPG has now been in existence for over two years but the practice continues to experience difficulty in attracting patients who are either in education, have children of school age or are working.  Unfortunately, patients such as young people, carers and patients with small children have still not come forward or are unable to offer their time.  21% of the current practice population are under the age of sixteen; 66% are either working, in education, parents with young children, or are unemployed due to health or other reasons and 13% are over retirement age.
The Process used to Recruit to our PPG:
The Village Surgery PPG was established in 2011 and recruited members to the group by publishing its evolvement through the website, digital signage and notice boards within the practice and also by approaching individual patients.  The practice has continued to try again in the past year to target specific patients, particularly the under represented groups including carers, the under 45 age group and young mothers through various means locally.  However, it was again found that when targeting patients who are either in employment or education, they are unable to offer their time to attend meetings. A renewed and vigorous effort will be made by the practice and PPG to attract new members to the group in the coming year.
The practice has a comments box in the waiting area and invites the views of patients which also gives them the opportunity to raise any problems or concerns.  The practice also offers a feedback form on their website for patients to raise issues about their care and treatment as well as any other matters of concern.  Issues raised in these ways for the year 2013/14 largely focused around accessibility to appointments and telephone access.  Encouragingly, there were also some very positive reviews about the reception staff employed by the practice.
The Priorities for the Survey and how they were agreed:
The practice and the PPG is keen to engage patients to help deliver and design services around the needs of its patients and it was agreed that, given the demographics of our practice population, issues should  be looked at this year around the patient experience of parents and carers of children under the age of 16.  The survey was child focused on services including practice services and facilities, appointments, booking, professional care, waiting room and GPs.
The Method and Results of the Patient Survey:
It was again agreed that the PPG, in partnership with the practice, would design its own bespoke survey based on the priorities that, to some extent, had already been highlighted by patients.  The survey was designed to reflect the key issues on which to accurately measure patient satisfaction in the selected patient group.
Prior to the survey, the practice notified patients through the digital signage in the waiting room that a survey would be undertaken.  Once again, members of the PPG volunteered to assist with the survey distribution and guidance was given on how the survey should be conducted. 
Patients were asked upon arrival at the surgery if they would be happy to participate in the local survey.  Patients attending for services including routine appointments with GPs and nurses, childhood immunisations and dressings etc. were targeted.
The survey was conducted during the period 8 – 27 January 2014.  Members of the PPG were actively involved in ensuring patients participated in the survey by handing out questionnaires to patients before and after their appointment at the practice.  All questionnaires were completed on the premises.  A total of 337 were completed and analysed by an external patient survey specialist company, Patient Dynamics.  See Appendix 1.
The Action Plan that was agreed and how it was Agreed:
The analysis of the patient survey identified the areas where the practice had scored well and also those areas where improvements might be needed.  The results were discussed in detail firstly, at a practice meeting on 26 February 2014 and subsequently, at a meeting of the PPG on 11 March 2014, which enabled the compilation of an action plan based on the findings/results.  An action plan was agreed as detailed below.
A Description of the findings or proposals that arose from the local Practice Survey:
Patients were asked a total of 16 questions with regards to the premises and practice facilities, the booking of appointments, waiting times and the professional care received from the GP they last saw.
Positive Responses
The practice was pleased with the results showing that the majority rated our services as good or above.  Understandably, we were disappointed with a very small minority rating us as poor but we accept that for various reasons this will always be the case.
  • 75% of patient experience with a GP was graded as either good or  very good and most patients were satisfied that the doctor had  engaged with their child, made a thorough examination, assessed  their clinical needs and had given the parent enough information to  promote recovery.
  • 82% of patients felt that the wait time for their child to obtain a doctor’s appointment was reasonable.  This is a significant improvement on the previous year’s survey result.
  • 82% of patients felt that The Village Surgery has a family welcoming environment.
  • 86% felt that practice staff display a family and child friendly attitude.
  • 96% were satisfied or neutral with the waiting room facilities (play corner, toilet and baby changing facilities).

Less Positive Responses
  • As was also identified in last year’s survey, comments were received regarding the difficulty patients experience in getting through to the surgery on the telephone first thing in the morning, only to find that when they do get through, all the appointments have already been allocated.
  • A number of comments were received requesting that toys be provided for the children.
  • Several requests for a water fountain were recorded.
  • A few comments were again received regarding doctor appointments running late.
The action the Practice intends to take as a consequence of discussions with the PPG in respect of the results, findings and proposals arising out of the local Practice Survey.
Although it was agreed that telephone lines are extremely busy between 8 a.m. and 9 a.m. on most days, it is not possible to provide more telephone lines without employing more staff which is not feasible in the present economic climate.  It was felt however that the recent introduction of an extra daily surgery for urgent medical problems, commencing at 11.40 a.m. after the elective surgeries, now caters for patients needing to be seen on the same day.   Additional afternoon appointments slots have also recently been introduced for children who need to be seen after school hours.  The PPG and the surgery now feel that these measures cater adequately for any patient needing to be seen on the same day.  Advance booking of appointments currently stands at four working days which was felt to be reasonable.  
It was agreed that for reasons of infection control, it would not be practicable to provide toys in the waiting room.
A cold water machine is already available in the reception area and it was agreed that improved signage should be provided to highlight this facility.
The action plan details recommendations/priorities identified by the PPG/Practice.
  • To continue to publicise the additional daily surgery and the after school appointment slots for children.  Also, to continue to further improve patient awareness of the availability of extended hours’ appointments which are intended for patients who are unable to access the surgery during normal opening hours.
  • To ensure the reception staff are instructed to be diligent in keeping patients informed when a doctor is running behind time.
  • To provide signage indicating the availability of water for those who require it.
The findings from this patient survey and the forthcoming action plan will be published on the practice website and copies are also available from the Admin Department at the surgery.
Opening hours of the practice premises and the method of obtaining access to services through the core hours:
The Village Surgery is open Monday to Friday 08.15 – 13.00 & 14.00 – 18.30.  Telephone lines are open from 08.00 – 12.30 & 14.00 – 18.30 (emergency cover 12.30 – 14.00).
Patients can make appointments by telephoning or calling in to the practice.  The practice also offers an on line facility for patients to request repeat prescription requests via its secure website.
A description of the extended opening hours that the practice provides and which health care professional is accessible to registered patients:
The practice offers extended opening hours for patients unable to attend surgery during core hours.  There are held on Monday & Wednesday evenings from 18.30 – 19.30 and on two Saturday mornings a month from 08.30 – 11.30.  Appointments are pre-booked.  The healthcare professional in attendance is a GP.