Patient Survey 2013

Spa Medical Centre Patient Survey 2013      - results, our response and patient  feedback                           

Introduction

Spa Medical Centre is a small, friendly practice based in the south of Leamington Spa. There have been family doctors working from our building for over 50 years. We are currently a two Doctor Partnership: Dr Kirit Pandya and Dr Tim Knight.

We aim to provide a professional family doctor service in a caring and efficient way.

We serve a multicultural community and aim to accommodate the needs of our patients with the help of in-house interpreters.

We have faced increasing challenges over ther last year, with the need to comply with an ever increasing number of government regulations, increasing demand from our patients, and a reduction in resources from the Department of Health.

We operate from a converted Victorian house in South Leamington and we feel many patients appreciate the ‘homely atmosphere’ such a building provides, but there are space limitations particularly with regard to ground floor consulting space. At present there are no opportunities for us to relocate or develop the exiting premises and the partners are keen to preserve the ‘small, friendly’ nature of the practice. So we plan to remain a 2 Doctor practice on Radford Road, serving the local community.

We therefore hope that our patients will understand that whereas we endeavour to give high quality care, we do not have a modern state of the art building and there may be times when it is a challenge accommodate all of our patients’ needs. Needless to say we have mechanisms that ensure that any patient who believes they have an urgent problem will be treated in a timely fashion!

Every year we send out a survey to  a sample of  our patients with  the intention  of gauging whether we are providing  a good  service and how  we  might improve  our  service. Last year's  results are dispalyed in this  website. We received  help from a grop of interested  pateints in designing this year's  survey and we  also  asked  the group to suggest  other  area we should  survey. In particular  we  were  keen  to find out  how  the new online  services we have introduced follwoing  last year's  survey  have been received.

We havedeliberately targeted those attending the surgery as opposed to a randomised postal survey in order to get the views of actual service uses. This document describes the results of the survey and the response of the Practice Management Team.

 

Demographics

This year we handed out 150 questionnaires to any patient/carer attending the surgery over the course of one week in February 2013. The questionnaire had been constructed in consultation with our existing group of interested patients recruited after last year’s survey. We received 123 completed survey forms (82% response rate). This represents 3.25% of our total practice population.

Of those who completed the form, 39% were of  White British origin,  47.8% described themselves as originating  from the Indian subcontinent (46% being Indian), 8.1% as ‘other white background’, 1.8% as  Afrocarribean.

40% of respondents were regular attenders, 44.5% occasional attenders and 15.5% rare attenders.

The average time responders had been registered with the practice was 20 years

Age distribution is displayed below:

Results

Quality of service

We asked how patients rated the quality of care they received from the Doctors and Nurses at Spa Medical Centre.

91% of responders rated the Doctors as good to excellent (44% excellent) and 94% rated the Nurses as good to excellent (46% excellent)

When asked why they gave a particular rating, patients were overwhelmingly complimentary about   our Doctors and nurses.

A few examples include:

‘They are just so understanding and deal promptly with any problem’

‘100/100’

‘all very helpful every time I attend’

‘always been treated very well ‘

‘always get to see the doctor whenever I need to and always in reasonable time’

‘always make time to see you’

‘always prompt courteous & professional’

‘been a patient since it started and have always received good care’

‘care & personal touch’

‘do not come often but excellent ladies on desk’

‘doctors are very caring’

‘doctors listen to what you say’

‘easy access good doctors friendly reception’

‘excellent advice very patient’

‘excellent staff & doctors’

‘excellent advice very patient’

‘good relationship with doctors’

‘make you comfortable and happy’

‘the doctors have always gone beyond normal duties to make me feel better’

‘pleasant professional nurses who really care what’s not to love’
‘the lady who gives inj is very friendly and nice’
‘always do that extra bit’

And a few negatives:

‘sometimes appt too short nurse always in  hurry’

‘would be excellent no blood test here’

‘’cannot get to see gp of my choice Dr Pandya always booked up’

 Use of  services

Following last year’s survey we have introduced a number of online services.

17% of our respondents said they used our online booking service, 15% used the internet to order their repeat prescriptions.

We asked whether patients were happy to have telephone consultations if a face to face appointment with a Doctor was unavailable- to which 88% of respondents said yes.

 Opening Times

We asked whether our patients were happy with our current extended opening hours on Tuesday evenings. 70% wanted to keep our exiting arrangements, 12% wanted us to open late on a different weekday and 19% wanted us to open on a Saturday. A few respondents  wanted us  to provide appointments  before  8.30am  and late in the evening

We also asked patients what time they preferred to attend the surgery.

26% of respondents preferred morning appointments, 16% afternoons, 17% evenings, 3% early mornings/late evenings, 2% weekends, 25% had no preference.

Premises

We asked patients to comment on our premises and of those who responded, 73% were broadly  pleased with our existing set up, but  27% can a range  of comments, mainly  suggesting that the building  needed  renovating and one patient saying we were too  far away.

The future

We asked  patients  what  additional services they would  like the practice  to provide

There were 37 responses. 8 patients wanted us to provide blood tests on the premises, 13 wanted us to provide more appointments or found our existing appointments system unsatisfactory.

2 respondents  wanted us  to  open up  on-line appointment  booking to the nurses and all the Doctors

We were also  asked  to provide yellow fever injection, tea, coffee  and daily newspapers, a bigger surgery, well person  checks and  free posting of  prescriptions

A louder  patient voice

Finally we asked if any respondent would like to come to a meeting to discuss the future of the surgery. 41 of 106 respondents (39%) said yes, of whom 19 gave their contact details.

Summary

It would appear that our sample group is reasonably representative in demographic terms and largely happy with our current services. Also it appears that the initiatives  we  put into  place  after last  year’s consultation are being  taken up  by  a (hopefully  growing)minority of patients. As before, there is discontent with our appointment system and telephone answering.  A substantial number of patients would like to have their blood tests done on the premises and some people comment on the need for premises renovation. Most people seemed content  with  our opening  times,  but  a few  wanted access to our  services on Saturdays and early mornings/  late  evenings

The Practice’s  response

We are pleased to see that most of our survey respondents are positive about the quality of service we provide.  We realise that our appointment system continues to cause difficulties for some of our patients and that there is a lot of frustration about congestion on our phone lines. In defence, we have two main problems- a finite amount of Doctor and Nurse time for a population with high levels of illness and therefore demand, and the fact that many of our patients of Indian origin wish to see a Doctor of similar origin. We employ a full time interpreter in an effort to cater for this demand.

We have considered opening up internet appointment booking for our Nurses and all Doctors. Our nurses offer variable appointment times depending on what they are doing. At present the booking system is not sophisticated enough to deal with this. From past experience we know that our senior partner’s appointment book would fill very quickly if it was opened up to unrestricted booking by patients themselves. We do not offer health checks to healthy people, simply because we do not have the resources, but patients are always welcome to discuss any health concerns they have with a Doctor whether face to face or by phone. It is interesting  to  note  that research suggests  offering  such  health  check s  offers very little  benefit  but  tends to  divert resources away from needy patients.  The regulations around yellow fever infections have made it impractical for a small organisation like ours to offer this service, but we are happy to refer patients to local practices offering this service.

We understand that  many  patients find it inconvenient to  go to  Warwick  Hospital  for  blood tests and  would  prefer to come to the  surgery. However each blood test taken means one less nurse appointment. At present  the  Health Authority does not  provide a  local  centre for  blood testing  but  housebound patients can be visited by  technicians from  Warwick  Hospital.

Working patients would obviously like to be able to access our services outside working hours. We do provide routine appointments up to 6pm on most weekdays, and offer an evening surgery (6.30-8.30pm) on Tuesdays. If we were to devote more resources to early and late evening appointments, we would have to move resources away from the rest of day. It is clear from the survey responses that most of our service users are content with our existing arrangements, so we are unlikely to be able to accede to these extra demands.

Proposed Actions

We are keen to have a dialogue with our patients about the above and any other concerns. We also want our patients to understand the constraints we work under in the hope this might lessen their frustrations. In broader terms we are keen to involve our patients in representing their views to the new Commissioning bodies within the NHS, in particular the South Warwickshire Commissioning group. With this in view we hope to arrange a meeting in the near future and will be publicising this.

This report has been sent  to patients who are already on our patient  referral group and  all respondents have been happy with our conclusions and proposed actions.

81 Radford Road, Leamington Spa, Warwickshire, CV31 1NE
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