Report to PPG and Surgery on Patient Satisfaction Survey June 2017
173 questionnaires were completed by patients attending the surgery between Monday 5th and Saturday 10th June 2017. The main purpose was to measure satisfaction with those aspects of the service which had been shown to be most important to patients in previous surveys, and to compare with the PPG surveys conducted in previous years.
- Satisfaction with the practice is generally very high, with at least 84% of patients being satisfied or very satisfied in 8 of the 11 categories measured. In particular satisfaction with ‘Receptionists’ and ‘Doctors and Nurses’ is near 100%.
The 3 exceptions were ‘Appointment availability’, ‘Monday and Friday book on the day’ (the replacement service for walk-in surgeries), and ‘Seeing your doctor of choice’. But even in these categories satisfaction was still between 70% and 77%.
- Compared to 2016, satisfaction has risen in all categories, and dramatically in some. Furthermore where comparison can be made with national averages in the Patient National Survey* our results were superior in all but one category (Seeing your doctor of choice).
- The practice is congratulated by the PPG on the levels of patient satisfaction achieved and the big increase in satisfaction compared with one year ago.
- In the ‘Friends and Family Test’ question, 90% of patients were likely or extremely likely to recommend the practice (from 78% in 2016). This is slightly above the average for GP practices nationally.
- The survey suggests the main action points to further increase patient satisfaction are:
- addressing dissatisfaction with not being able to see doctor of choice within a reasonable time. This could include, for example, PR promoting the newer partners and doctors.
- monitoring the ‘Monday and Friday book on the day’ urgent appointments service, to better understand the reasons for one in four patients being dissatisfied with it.
- making enough routine appointments available such that patients do not feel they are ‘having to wait weeks’.
- The practice has given a response to this report, including plans to address the issues raised. The response will normally be published alongside the report.
*The Patient National Survey (PNS) is a national postal survey. The last published figures, based on 860,000 respondents, are up to March 2016.
2. Satisfaction Ratings
*The National Patient Survey is not directly comparable as most questions do not ask ‘satisfaction’ levels as such, but do still give an indication.
Satisfaction could be said to be very high in 8 of the 11 categories measured, with at least 84% of patients being satisfied or very satisfied. Furthermore in 6 of the categories the figure was over 90%, and notably 97% for ‘Receptionists’ and 98% for ‘Doctors and Nurses’.
Further positive news was that in the 9 categories that could be compared with previous years’ surveys satisfaction increased in all cases, and by a large amount in 5 of the categories.
The 3 categories with relatively lower satisfaction ratings were ‘appointment availability’, ‘Monday and Friday book on the day‘ and ‘seeing your doctor of choice’, where 23%, 26% and 30% of patients respectively were dissatisfied or very dissatisfied.
Comparing our results with the NPS (see explanation asterisks at bottom of pages 1 and 2), all are significantly better than national figures except for ‘seeing doctor of choice’ where the practice is behind by some 10 points.
Overall the PPG warmly congratulates the practice on all these very positive results, especially at a time of NHS re-organisations, budget constraints and staff shortages. These congratulations include all staff and partners, but special mention is appropriate for Louise Perugia who became Practice Manager one year ago, and Brenda, a receptionist particularly mentioned by patients in two questionnaires.
Further points of note:
- On-line booking – satisfaction ratings are high, but there is a mystery regarding a fall in the number of users – see Section 5.
- Appointment availability – 77% satisfaction is much improved from the 49% in 2016 but is still an issue for 23% of patients. There are no comparable NPS figures.
- Monday to Friday book on the day – this new service, providing some appointments on the day and intended for urgent cases, was introduced one year ago to replace walk-in surgeries. 74% satisfaction suggests the new arrangements are being accepted by patients, though some would no doubt still prefer just walking in. (It is noted that the practice say they find the new arrangements much more manageable, and feel that generally this should benefit patients too.)
- Seeing your doctor of choice – as stated above there is some dissatisfaction with patients not being able to see their preferred doctor, and a suggestion that the practice is behind national figures just on this one measure. As suggested in the 2016 survey report, this may be exacerbated by the two longest serving and probably most ‘popular’ partners doing reduced surgery hours.
3. Friends and Family Test Question
It is mandatory that patients be invited to answer this question at all points of contact with the NHS, and there are cards at our reception window for this purpose. The question is ‘How likely are you to recommend this practice to friends and family if they needed similar care or treatment?’ It has been included in our survey since 2015, and 163 patients responded to the question.
The results were: Extremely Likely Likely Neither Likely nor Unlikely Unlikely Extremely Unlikely
51% 39% 7% 2% 1%
With 90% positive answers, this is a significant improvement on 2016 (78%) and also higher than 2015 (86%). The practice is now in line with the national and regional picture for GP practices as shown on the NHS website for April 2017 (89% for England, 88% for London).
The 4 patients who would not recommend the practice were mainly dissatisfied with appointment availability (all 4), waiting time on the phone, Monday and Friday book on the day and on-line booking.
4. Patients’ Comments
45 patients added comments. The main themes were:
- 32 positive comments saying the service was good, referring especially to doctors, nurses and receptionists
- 24 negative comments, including seeing doctor of choice (7), appointment availability (5), and receptionists (3)
Some representative examples are displayed
There were also some miscellaneous comments which may be of interest to the practice:
- Unnecessary wait and information when ring up before getting to options.
- The consultation time is too short when you have several medical conditions.
- I was not aware there is a website for on-line booking.
- There is too much pressure by patients on doctors and staff – far too many patients for the practice.
- Why not offer more over the phone consultations to save on appointments and save time for doctors and patients?
- There can sometimes be a long wait to check in.
- Don’t listen to the government and their targets – I am patient enough to wait until the next week for an appointment – it’s free!
Points of note comparing with the June 2016 and 2015 surveys:
On-line Bookings – these figures suggest on-line bookings are declining, despite all efforts to promote them. Furthermore, this year fewer of our respondents were 65+ years of age – 33% as against 43% last year; ie we had a bigger proportion of younger people this year who on average might be expected to be more likely to use on-line methods. Also surprisingly, patients aged 65+ were over-represented amongst our patients who book appointments on-line – they were 41% of users, as opposed to being 33% of all survey respondents. (Can we target the younger age groups in our campaigns? Do they have fewer appointments and so consider it not worth setting up on-line access?)
Requesting Repeat Prescriptions – the proportion of patients ordering their repeat prescriptions via their chemist, at 46%, has remained stable. Also the balance between on-line methods and requesting in person has not significantly changed.
6. Action Points
It is recognised that major improvements have been made in the last year, and satisfaction levels have risen very significantly since the June 2016 survey. Based on the current survey, patient satisfaction could be further increased in those areas where there is still some dissatisfaction:
- Increasing further the number of appointment slots so that patients can get an appointment sooner.
- Continuing to monitor the Monday and Friday book on the day urgent appointments service, to better understand the reasons that one in four patients is dissatisfied with it. Eg are there issues with the service itself, or is it the lack of such a service on other days?
- Taking measures to reduce dissatisfaction due to not being able to get appointments with patients’ doctor of choice, eg by PR – explaining the ‘changing of the generations’ of GPs and ‘recommending’ the newer partners and doctors for example with informal biographies on the website/in newsletters.
- Taking further measures to persuade patients to use the surgery website and on-line booking of appointments, where progress seems to have halted. (It is believed that in most cases on-line booking makes the booking experience better for the patient and frees up telephone lines and receptionists enabling other areas of the service to improve.)
- Continuing to achieve the current mainly very high levels of satisfaction (recognising the hard work that this has involved).
7. Response from Practice
The practice has given a response to this report, including plans to address the issues raised. The response will normally be included alongside the report wherever it is published eg on the website.