Establishing Our Patient Group
We started to advertise to recruit members to establish our group in June 2011, we placed posters and leaflets within our waiting areas, advertised on the electronic display boards and on the practice website. Staff and doctors were also encouraging our patients to join.
Patients who were interested filled out an application form which included their name, Date of Birth, address and ethnicity status. We needed this information to gather statistics to make sure our group was representative of our practice population.
Disappointingly, the uptake was very low.
We held our first introductory meeting on the 11th August 2011, this was with the two practice managers, senior partner, partner and four patients out of the eight who had expressed an interest.
An agenda was formed.
Introductions were made to gain an insight into the patients background to see what they could bring to the group.
We discussed “What is a Patient Participation Group?” (PPG), the purpose of the group and the aim and objectives.
We focused on how we could attract more members to the group which was representative of our practice population.
The patients offered to go out into the wider community and display more of our posters advertising the group within local schools, churches, community centres, pharmacies, libraries, post offices, local shops and to also spread the word through word of mouth.
We placed an advertisement in the local Thurmaston Times, unfortunately there was nothing available for the Beaumont Leys area.
We were aiming to attract between 12-15 patients to the group.
We are an inner city practice based over two sites with a practice population of approx 15,674 patients, split as follows:
||Male = 1686
||Female = 1638
||Male = 2057
||Female = 2090
||Male = 3055
||Female = 2919
|| Male = 623
||Female = 635
|| Male = 430
||Female = 541
Parker Drive Medical Centre serves Beaumont Leys, Stocking Farm, Mowmacre Hill and the Stadium Estate, the majority of which are council housing. There is a higher than average unemployment rate and areas of high depravation. Parker Drive Medical Centre has mainly a Caucasian population.
Manor Medical Centre is not actually based in the inner city and is sited on the Thurmaston Village and Leicester Border, it covers a large cross section of the community, the housing is varied, there are two council estates in Thurmaston and a variety of private housing. Also served by this surgery is the Rushey Mead Estate which comprises of rented and private housing, Manor Medical Centre has a high Indian/Asian population.
Patient Group Representatives
Currently, our group is represented with 8 female and 5 male patients with age ranges from 50 – 80 years of age, there is a mix of English, British white, Indian, and Asian patients and both sites are equally represented.
We are struggling to attract the younger generation to our group, one member of the group has approached the school councils at seven of the local schools to attract some of the over 16’s but as yet no response.
We have just recruited some new members to the group from our current waiting list as we have had a few members leave the group and are still wanting to keep the group to a manageable size. Patients are actively encouraged to send in any suggestions/comments to members of the existing group to bring forward to the meetings.
This year we decided to re-introduce our annual patient survey combined with the Friends and Family Test. We are at present gathering patient feedback through patient comments/suggestions and the use of the F&F test which is available to complete on-line through our practice website and through post cards that patients can fill out in the surgery.
Three Key Areas of Improvement
On discussion with the PPG, we decided to work on three key areas of improvement
and these were as follows:
1) Health Promotion Event
To hold a Health Promotion Event at the practice to invite our patients with their friends and family to join us on our FREE Health Promotion event where they will be offered a free lifestyle check and the opportunity to meet the Practice team.
The event took place on Saturday 12th September 2015 at Manor Medical Centre from 2- 4pm. Patients and their friends and family were encouraged to attend for Height, Weight, BP and a BM test for early detection of diabetes. There were also some Health and Lifestyle promotional stands.
Some members of the PPG group attended so that they could meet and greet our patients along with some practice doctors, managers, nurses and staff.
The event was attended by twenty five people of these people that attended five needed life style attention and one needed an appointment with the doctor.
Nineteen feedback questionnaires about the event were completed and all came back positive. It was suggested that we should consider holding a similar event at Parker Drive Medical Centre.
2) Review of DNA Rates
Most of our general complaints from patients are that there are not enough appointments to cope with demand. As we have mentioned before this is a national problem at the moment within General Practice. One of the most frustrating areas for our practice is our high DNA (did not attend) rates which does have an obvious knock on effect on our appointment availability. We ran some statistics in May/June 2014 and discussed them at the Patient Group meeting. The group were quite shocked to hear of the figures and were very keen to work with the practice to see how we could improve in this area.
In June 2014 - On average the number of missed appointments PER MONTH was:
|Parker Drive Medical Centre
|Manor Medical Centre
At present we use a text messaging system which is beneficial to patients who have mobile phones. These patients can have a confirmation text sent to them when booking their appointment, they get a reminder of their appointment 24 hours before their appointment and they also get a text message the following day if they DNA their appointment.
We have to trust our patients to keep us updated with their mobile numbers in order for this system to work effectively. Receptionists are proactively checking mobile numbers when patients are ringing in to make their appointments.
The group devised a letter written by them as a patient to a fellow patient and also signed by the senior partner to send out to patients who frequently DNA their appointments – initially, focusing on the patients who demand an urgent same day appointment and then do not attend.
Statistics for 2015-16 slowly showing a marked improvement on our DNA rates although we would still like to see improvements and they drop even further. Staff have worked really hard to make our system work and a big thank you to the patients that are addressing our concern and are either ringing through or using the systemonline to cancel their appointment when no longer required.
2352 missed appointments between Mar 2015 – Jan 2016 based on 10 min appt = 392 wasted hours
2525 missed appointments between Mar 2015 – Jan 2016 based on 10 min appt = 421 wasted hours
From the statistics gathered we shall:
- Review letter sent to patients.
- Continue to send SMS text message reminders - we did make a change from 48 hours to 24 hours notice and think this has had a significant effect.
- Continue to send DNA SMS text message so as to act as a reminder to the patient for future appointments.
- To continue to promote the Systemonline service enabling patients to cancel their own appointments online.
- Continue to display DNA statistics in the waiting room
- To upload the monthly DNA statistics to the Website Notice Board
- Telephone call to the patient to establish reasons why they did not cancel their appointment – see if any pattern forming and if any improvements we need to make to our current system.
- Continue with booking routine appointments up to 3 weeks in advance
3) Patient Survey
We decided to re-introduce the patient survey again for 2015-16 but to condense it down to concentrate on the key areas of our business.
The surveys were conducted within both of our surgeries during October 2015 and we aimed to obtain at least 200 completed questionnaires. After discussions with the patient group we once again agreed not to send out any postal questionnaires this year as the uptake on previous years was extremely low.
We targeted our registered patients who attended the surgery between our core hours of opening.
Posters explaining the survey to our patients were displayed in the waiting rooms and outside consulting rooms.
Staff and members of the patient group worked extremely hard during this period to get as many surveys completed as possible.
There was a very good uptake rate to the survey and we were able to analyse 191 usable questionnaires.
All completed usable anonymous surveys were analysed by the Practice Manager and a member from the Patient Group and the findings of the survey were compiled into a report separated by each surgery.
The results can be found on the practice website and a copy in the blue folders in the waiting rooms.
The results were discussed with the group and on the whole they were happy with results in general. We have been discussing some of the comments raised throughout the year through the Friends and Family Test and where improvements could be made these have been put into place.
We formulated an action plan on the three key priority areas that we are working towards improvements.
The action plan was reviewed and signed off by the PPG and the Local Patient report has been published on the practice website.
This will be regularly reviewed and updated on subsequent achievement of all areas identified for improvement.
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PREVIOUS REPORT - 2014/15
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PREVIOUS REPORT - 2013/14
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PREVIOUS REPORT - 2012/13
CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD THE PREVIOUS REPORT - 2011/12