Practice Survey Reporting

Survey results 2013 -14


Survey results 2013-2014

For the third year running The Canford Heath Group Practice has taken part in the Patient Participation DES (Direct Enhanced Service) which aims to fully involve patients with decisions that affect the practice.


We have used our 2012-2013 action plan and asked questions of our Patient Reference Group to create this year’s questionnaire to provide feedback on patient satisfaction with the practice and its services.


The purpose of the DES is to ensure that patients are involved in decisions about the range and quality of services provided and over time commissioned by the practice. It aims to encourage and reward practices for routinely asking for and acting on the views of their patients. The DES aims to promote the proactive engagement of patients through the use of effective Patient Reference Groups (PRGs) and to seek views from patients through the use of a local practice survey. The outcomes of the engagement and the views of patients are to be published on the practice website.


The practice has a “virtual” Patient Reference Group – a group of over 250 patients whom the practice communicates with via email to ask questions about the services we deliver throughout the year.


All patients are welcome to join this group and feedback on our practice is actively sought.


There are notices in the waiting room about joining our group, a message on our self-check in screen, a section of our website ( ) has information about joining the patient group, regular newsletters are sent via website encouraging patients to join our PRG and when patients give us their consent to communicate with them via email there is a box to tick asking whether they wish to become a member.


The Practice Manager checks emails from the PRG inbox regularly and always responds personally to all.


About the Practice


We are an urban practice in the middle of Canford Heath, working from one site with eight GPs, one Nurse Practitioner, four nurses, two Health Care Assistants and approximately 25 members of staff. We also have an on-site pharmacy in our purpose built surgery.



Practice Demographics


The Practice currently has nearly 12,000 registered patients and its list size has remained consistent for the last few years despite patients departing and new patients registering.


We use several tools to gain information about the practice profile including running searches on our computer system (INPS Vision), and ask all newly registering patients about their ethnic group and spoken languages.


Our patient demographic as of 12th December 2013 is as follows;


Male               5742   

Female          6068

Total               11810


Age Ranges

























4124 entries of 11810 registered patients.



214 on our register.


Working status



Marginalised / Vulnerable Groups

Mental Health         110

Learning Disability  38

Dementia                62


Drug Users

11 Read Coded


Nursing Home Residents

N/A – although most of our dementia patients are registered at Mitchell House which has a Dementia Unit.


University Students

Not known


This information was extracted by search through our INPS Vision clinical system.


The practice also identifies specific groups of patients via its computer system, for example those with COPD (168) Diabetes (605) and so on and it is these patients we target first when calling patients in for various blood tests and screening programmes.


We gave 1538 flu vaccinations this year to patients who were 65 and over and to 601 patients who were between the ages of 16 and 64 on one of our at-risk disease registers.


The Patient Reference Group

As our Patient Reference Group (PRG) is open to all we believe we have a wide range of patients of various ages, ethnic groups and on various disease registers who make up a representative sample of the practice population and we regularly seek to have new members join.


We will continue to encourage new members for the foreseeable future, adding to our already large and active group.


The following tools are used to promote our PRG to ensure continued increase of membership and to promote the group to as diverse a range of patients as we possibly can:


Patient check in screen – Situated in the surgery waiting room, the practice advertises its PRG to all patients who check-in using the screen. Running along the bottom of the screen is an “info bar” which says “Join our Patient Reference Group – Ask at Reception for Details.”


Communication Slips – We update our patients’ mobile and email numbers regularly. Slips are available on the reception desk and there is a tick box at the bottom which says “Would you like to have your say about the services provided at the practice? Every now and again we will email you to ask you a question or two” and patients are asked to tick yes or no. Their email address is then forwarded to the Practice Manager to add them to the group.


Reception – On the reception windows there is a poster which says “Have your say! Join our Patient Reference Group. Please ask at reception for details.” Patients who ask for details are given an information sheet by the receptionist.


Website – Our website ( has a link that says “Join our Patient Reference Group” and patients can join up on line. Their details are then forwarded to the Practice Manager.


The Patient Reference Group is not the only way in which patients can communicate with the practice however. We take in to account any comments or feedback given to us via our practice website, or our NHS Choices site. We also have a feedback book in reception which is regularly checked and responded to by the Practice Manager and we have notices in the waiting room encouraging patients to get in touch with the Practice Manager with any comments or suggestions.


Our PRG is a virtual group whom we communicate with via email.


Preparing for our 2013-2014 Questionnaire


In November 2013 the practice updated its Patient Reference Group members via email on the work that had been completed from the 2012 – 2013 action plan and informed them of the work still to do.


The group were also asked to think about what they would like included in the 2013 – 2014 patient survey by answering three questions:


Question One: “Last year an important issue that arose from the patient survey was the matter of parking for disabled people. It was felt that there was inadequate parking as other patients park on the double yellow lines outside the surgery taking up space for those with Blue Badges. Do you feel that matters have improved now that a regular parking attendant patrols the area if indeed you are a Blue Badge holder?”


Question Two : “We always try to respect the privacy and dignity of all our patients. Do you feel respected when you come in to the surgery – either when seeing a healthcare professional or speaking to a receptionist by telephone or in person and if not what could we do to improve this?” NB – The Care Quality Commission (CQC) strive to ensure that patients are treated with respect and dignity which is why we felt this question to be important.


Question Three: “We have had a lot of refurbishment in the surgery over the last year. Do you feel that the premises are fit for purpose and is there anything else that needs to be done for further improvement?”


In total 44 members of the PRG replied to these questions and from their answers (which were summarised and sent back to the group) the questions for the 2013 -2014 patient survey were created. Of the 44 who answered many patients added additional comments about the practice as well which we also incorporated in to our patient questionnaire if there were recurring themes.


Themes from complaints were also taken in to consideration, the common complaint being that telephones are unanswered for a long time and patients are left in a long queue in the system.


The PRG were then asked whether they felt 5% of the practice population would represent a valid sample group of patients to give the questionnaire to. The majority of those in the group who responded said that they felt 5% or 600 patients would be a valid sample size (which was larger than the sample agreed to last year.)


When drawing up our practice questionnaire we referenced various websites including the National Association for Patient Participation for guidance to ensure that our questionnaire sampled the views of the reasonable patient and we decided to keep the analysis of the results in-house.  


In order to ensure that a random sample of patients were targeted (thus reaching as diverse a sample as possible) it was decided that 600 patients booked in during a two week period in February would be handed a questionnaire as they waited for their appointment to see either a GP or Nurse. This way the practice managed to issue questionnaires to a wide range of ages, sexes and ethnic groupings.



Questionnaire Results

Of the 600 questionnaires given out 588 were returned and the results were collated by a member of the reception staff. This is an increase on the 212 that were returned last year.


The results were then further anonymised by the Practice Manager (as some staff were named personally) and comments that had been duplicated were amalgamated.


The questionnaire was then sent out to the members of the PRG by email in March 2014 with a summary of the main themes and a proposed action plan based on those themes and the group were asked to comment and agree to the various parts of the draft.


The draft action plan stated that as the questionnaires showed that patients wanted the telephones moved off of the front desk to speed up call answering and to heighten confidentiality this would be something that the practice would propose to take in to consideration.


Those members of the PRG who responded to the draft action plan overwhelmingly agreed that this action point should be implemented as soon as possible.


The questionnaires also highlighted that some of the staff needed extra customer service training and the PRG agreed that extra training for staff would be a good thing and so agreed with the proposal that self-assessment and “mystery shoppers” were excellent tools to highlight any training areas.


The draft action plan had stated however that “peer review” of standards would also be employed where staff members rated their colleagues, however the majority of those PRG members who replied said that this would cause resentment amongst staff and so this idea was taken out of the action plan on their request.


The questionnaire also highlighted late running appointments as an issue and the draft action plan stated that the practice would work with “serial late-runners” to ensure that they kept to time.


The majority of the PRG however were unhappy with this action point as they felt that GPs or nurses would be under pressure to see patients quickly and therefore not give their patients enough time to fully deal with their medical problems. For this reason the plan was changed to state that the reception staff would keep patients fully informed of how late a GP or nurse was running to give patients the opportunity to rebook should they wish to.


The final theme that emerged from the questionnaire was that a reminder system for appointments could be developed and it was suggested that text reminders could be employed. The overwhelming majority of those group members who replied to the draft action plan said that this was a good idea.


Taking in to consideration the comments from the Patient Reference Group about the draft action plan, the plan was rewritten to form the 2013-2014 Canford Heath Group Practice Patient Participation Action Plan which is as follows:




                                   THE CANFORD HEATH GROUP PRACTICE





Following the analysis of the returned patient survey questionnaires several recurring themes have highlighted the need for improvement.


The following action plan is how the Practice intends to make these improvements.



The patient survey highlighted common themes such as;


  1. The need to move telephones away from the front desk to improve confidentiality and speed up the answering of calls by having more staff answering.


  1. The majority of the staff are friendly, knowledgeable and helpful, but not all are of the same standard and some lack customer service skills.


  1. Appointments often run late.


  1. Text reminders for patient appointments.




Move the telephones from the front desk & have more staff answering calls.

Over the next few months the practice will move its telephones from front desk. The area in reception which currently houses patient records will be cleared and patient notes will be moved elsewhere into another secure location within the building.


This cleared area will then have desks and telephones installed in to it and a further member of staff will be allocated to ensure that more telephone operators are answering calls throughout the day.


With telephones moved off the front desk there will be heightened confidentiality in the waiting room and calls will be answered more quickly (no need for staff to deal with patients at the desk leaving telephones unanswered.) The reception area will also be quieter with staff spread out over a larger space.


Reception Staff Training

The practice will work to ensure its staff have on-going “customer service” training. As part of this process there will be self-appraisal of skills (where staff appraise themselves) and appraisal by “mystery shoppers” (where volunteer patients feed back their experiences to the practice manager.)

Any staff found to be lacking in any skills will having training catered to their needs.


Monitoring of appointment times

The practice will ensure that patients are kept informed of any GPs or nurses who are running late by means of a verbal announcement and a dedicated notice board in reception stating how late the appointments are running giving patients the opportunity to re-book or come back at a later time.


The reception supervisors will monitor this.


The practice will look to provide consistently late-running GPs/Nurses with “catch-up” slots (ten minutes throughout the day where any overrun can be absorbed.)


Text Reminders for Appointments

In order to ensure that appointments aren’t wasted, text remembers will be sent to those patients who wish to be reminded of their up-coming appointments with the introduction of our new computer system in May. This will cut down on the number of forgotten appointments thus ensuring that those patients who need to be seen can be seen.


The practice will advertise this service as soon as the new computer system becomes operational and will ensure that patient mobile phone numbers are up to date.




The practice will aim to complete all these action points within the next twelve months (with on-going training for reception staff to continue for as long as needed) however we aim to run to the following timescales:


Move the telephones from the front desk & have more staff answering calls by September 2014


Reception Staff Training – training to start in June 2014, on-going.


Monitoring of appointment times – to start April 2014


Text Reminders for Appointments – to start May 2014 (as soon as new computer system installed and training completed.)


The PRG will be updated on the progress of these actions via regular monthly email update and information about progress will also be included in our regular newsletters (available to email subscribers and in reception.)


  Practice Opening Times


Monday to Friday 8am to 6.30pm (telephone access Monday to Friday 8am to 6.30pm)


Patients can access the surgery at Mitchell Road during its core opening hours from 8am to 6.3pm via reception, by telephone or by accessing the website (which is available for appointments and repeat prescriptions seven days a week, 365 days per year.)


Extended Hours Appointments are Offered as Follows:


Dr Atkinson                Mondays 6.30pm to 8pm


Dr Muir                       Monday 6.30pm to 8pm


Dr Richardson           Mondays 6.30pm to 8pm


Dr Aizpitarte              Tuesday & Thursday 7.30am to 8am


Dr Bidad                    Weds & Thursday 6.30 to 7pm


Dr Jack                       Tuesday & Thursday 7.30am to 8am



This report will be displayed on our Practice Website ( ) and hard copies will be available to view at the surgery.

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