We have a Patient Suggestion Box in the practice. We very much appreciate your input into the services we provide and suggestions on how we could improve. Every suggestion is considered, though it may not always be feasible to implement.
Please do not use the suggestion box for complaints; complaints should be dealt with through the practice's complaints procedure.
Thank you to all our patients who provide us with their comments and suggestions; it helps us to know how we might improve on the service we provide and your input is extremely valuable.
Why is my appointment always running late?
Our doctors and nurses aim to keep their surgeries running on time but there are a number of factors that may cause them to over-run.
Most general appointments are booked at 10 minute intervals, but this does not necessarily mean that you have 10 minutes face to face with the clinician. During that 10 minutes the clinician will listen to your problem, ask you questions which will help in forming a diagnosis, examine you (if required), provide a prescription (if required) and perhaps arrange a follow up appointment or a referral to a specialist. When you leave the room, the clinician needs to type a record of the consultation into the clinical system. So in any 10 minute appointment, there are only approximately 7-8 minutes with the clinician.
Probably the two commonest reasons for the clinician running late are when patients present with either a particularly complicated problem, or when they bring more than one problem to a standard 10 minute appointment:
(a) Complex Problem:
Sometimes the ailment the patient presents with requires more than 10 minutes. If you think you have a difficult problem, or perhaps a new psychological symptom, e.g. depression, please ask a receptionist for a 20 minute appointment.
(b) One Problem – One Appointment:
Bringing more than one problem to the clinician will invariably cause them to run late. Some patients bring in a list of problems. If the clinician deals with every problem on the list, that patient will be content but it means that subsequent patients in the surgery will be seen late. It only needs 2-3 patients with either a complex problem, or with more than one problem, for the last few patients in the surgery to be seen up to an hour late. Also if patients have turned up late, this can add to the wait.
We hope you will see that for the greater good of all patients, the doctor or nurse may ask patients who bring multiple problems to a 10 minute appointment to rebook on another day. This ensures the clinician can try to stay on time, but also that you get the right amount of attention for your concerns.
What can YOU do to help?
- Book one 10 minute appointment for one problem; if the problem is complicated, ask for a longer appointment.
- Turn up on time; if you are late every patient seen after you will probably be seen late.
- If you want to check in and there is a queue at reception, why not try the computerised check in system to the right of the main reception desk.
- Cancel your appointments if you don’t need them or can’t attend. We are now sending text reminders the day before your booked appointments so please do cancel if you can’t make it. You can use the automated telephone appointment system to cancel at any time of the day or night.
- One patient only per appointment – please don’t bring your family members' ailments to your appointment.
- Before you see the clinician, think about your symptoms and what you will tell him/her, e.g. how long have you had them, how severe is it, does it come and go, what makes it worse or better.
If the doctor or nurse is running late, please be patient and understanding.....they may have been called out to a seriously ill patient.
A larger car park please!
For many years we have been trying to purchase additional land to provide more parking spaces but, unfortunately, this has not been possible and we are now out of options. If patients have ideas on how we can expand on our parking facilities, please do let us know.
Whilst parking remains limited, we would ask that the spaces are left for those who need to park close to the surgery. If you can, please park your car in the surrounding streets and take a short walk in. We are serviced by the 700 bus, and there are bus stops at the front of the building. There is also a bicycle rack available behind the flint wall for any patients wishing to secure their bikes whilst visiting the surgery.
More staff on reception.
Our policy is to have a receptionist manning the front desk at all times. If a significant queue forms, the receptionist will ask a colleague from the telephone group to come and assist. This may not always be possible at peak times, such as first thing in the morning or at lunch times, and we ask that patients please bear with us during these busy periods.
If you want to check in and there is a queue at reception, why not try the computerised check in system to the right of the main reception desk.
More evening and weekend appointments for workers.
We understand that some of our patients would value appointments available to them in the evenings and/or at weekends. Please see the page on GP Access Hubs for more information.
Please note that there are extended access appointments with our GPs from 7.30am on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays and from 6.30pm until 7pm on Tuesday evenings. These appointments are bookable in advance, either via reception or through the automated telephone booking service.
A way for patients to advise when running late in order to hold their appointment.
Unfortunately our GPs' clinics are always tightly booked and often we are unable to move your appointment if you are running late, even through no fault of your own. It’s really important to ensure you give yourself enough time to travel and park in time for your appointment so you are able to have your full consultation without being rushed.
Music played into the waiting rooms.
The cost implications of this suggestion would be quite high for the practice; not only the installation of a sound system but also the purchasing of licences to broadcast music.
The Performing Rights Society (PRS) collects and distributes licence fees for the public performance and broadcast of musical works. The Mechanical Copyright Protection Society (MCPS) collects and distributes royalties generated from the recording of music onto many different formats. This income is distributed to their members - writers and publishers of music. This covers music from the radio and recorded music. There is music available that is free from licence and royalties but it tends to be instrumental, largely unknown and costly to purchase.