Mandeville Practice's appeal to patients as improvement journey continues with details of new appointment system

The Mandeville Practice has issued an appeal and advice to patient as it undergoes changes to services as part of an improvement programme.

Thursday, 24th October 2019, 4:52 pm
The Mandeville Practice

The surgery was rated 'inadequate' by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) back in January 2018, but by November that year a second inspection rated the surgery 'good'.

But changes are ongoing, and this week the surgery put out a number of key information notes for patients, and appealed for them to get in touch with any comments or complaints.

A spokesman for the surgery said: "As a service provider we want to ensure that our services meet the needs of our patient population and we want to work with our patients to ensure they are happy with the service they receive.

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"We want to take this opportunity to answer some of your questions focusing on three key subjects; appointments, did not attend and accessing the right care, in the right place at the right time."

According to the practice patients may be concerned or asking why they are unable to get an appointment quickly, and complaints have been received about lack of availability.

The spokesman said: "Recently we are aware that a number of patients have complained about the lack of availability of appointments at the practice. We take all complaints seriously and back in September, an announcement was placed on the practice website, advising our patients that we were aware and are looking at ways to improve access.

"Through detailed reviews of the current system we were able to understand why there were issues. One significant finding was the volume of missed / wasted appointments referred to as ‘Did Not Attend’ or ‘DNAs’. Alarmingly, in one month there were 284 missed appointments or 47 hours of wasted appointments, this significantly affects appointment availability for those patients who need an appointment.

"Let us know if you no longer need the appointment! Call us or cancel your appointment online; this will free up the appointment for your fellow patients."

"Following our mantra of Leading Change Through Innovation, we have developed an appointment system which will significantly improve access for our patients. We are moving away from the traditional morning and afternoon sessions for GPs and introducing an innovative system, unlike any other in use in general practice today. Our GPs will have appointment availability throughout the day, as will our Advanced Nurse Practitioners, Pharmacist, Paramedic and Practice Nurses. This system will go live on the 1st November 2019."

And the practice also responded to some complaints that receptionists at the surgery now ask questions when patients call up.

The spokesman said: "When you telephone the practice our team of trained receptionists will ask you a number of questions; this is to ensure you are directed to the right clinician in a timely manner as not all patients need to see a GP. Our receptionists have been trained in care navigation and signposting to ensure they can effectively deal with your needs.

"Listen to the advice given by our trained reception team and make an appointment with the most appropriate clinician.

"We have developed our appointment system in such a way that it maximises appointment availability. Our Medical Director is working closely with the team and will instruct our reception staff to call patients asking them to book appointments with a member of the team, ensuring you see the right person at the right time."

And practice chiefs also invited patients who would like to, to get involved by becoming part of the improvement process.

The spokesman said: "If you want to be more involved and help shape service delivery at the practice, speak to a member of staff about joining the Patient Participation Group (PPG), full details about the group are available on our website. This is your opportunity to get involved and make a difference at your practice.

"We understand that we may not always get everything right and by telling us about the problem you have encountered, we will be able to improve our services and patient experience. If you have cause to complain, please ask to speak to the Operations Manager who is our complaints lead and will ensure your complaint is managed in the most effective manner."