There is still a significant problem in the practice with patients failing to attend appointments. In January to March 180 appointments were missed, April to June 233 appointments and July to August 189 appointments – a total of 602 appointments year to date. This wastes clinical time and deprives other patients from seeing a Clinician when they need to. Despite text reminders, letters being sent to those patients failing to keep their appointments and summary data of missed appointments being displayed widely in the surgery, there is still an unacceptable level of missed appointments. Patients need to be reminded to cancel appointments they no longer need. A GP consultation is 10 minutes. Patients may need to prioritise the topics they wish to discuss and if necessary book a follow-up appointment.
Following a change in the text messaging service provider, where possible, patients are now reminded twice about pre-booked appointments and a random selection of patients are invited to rate their experience post consultation. Prior to this new service, the practice had only received a handful of responses to the ‘Friends and Family’ test but since the implementation of the new service there has been a step change, with 199 responses in August and 157 responses in September. Of these, 94% of patients were either ‘Extremely Likely’ or ’Likely’ to recommend the practice to friends and family in August and 95% in September.
The 28 GP practices in Richmond collectively provide an out of hours GP service overnight and at weekends for patients with urgent or emergency conditions which cannot wait until normal GP surgery hours. This is a superior service when compared with most of the rest of the UK. The enhanced service is only possible because of a significant financial contribution from Teddington Memorial Hospital League of Friends. As the Out of Hours Contract approaches its renewal date, the League of Friends are reviewing their financial reserves to determine their involvement in this service going forward. It is important that patients are aware that the level of service provided for Richmond residents is only possible because of the contribution from the League of Friends and as such patients need to be encouraged to support the League of Friends fund raising initiatives.
The Richmond Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) are reviewing how they are going to meet the 8am-8pm, 7 day a week provision of primary care services. This piece of work is in progress and any changes will be phased in over the coming months/years. Critical to the success of this work will be communication so patients will know how, when and where to access the primary care services they require. The CCG are also asking patients and clinicians to describe what ‘quality’ in primary care means to them. Patients will be able to complete a short on-line survey or fill-in a comment card at the surgery. The information gathering phase will run until mid-January 2018.
The annual review of the PPG Terms of Reference was completed. There was a discussion around how to increase communication with the wider patient population at the surgery. In addition to the twice yearly newsletter, a meeting summary, to be posted on the website, and included in the newsletter, will be written after each PPG meeting. Also, patients will be invited to communicate directly with the PPG by putting their comments/questions/feedback in writing and leaving them addressed to the PPG chair at the surgery reception. This correspondence can be anonymous or with contact details provided.
Date of Next meeting – February 2018.