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FROME Medical Practice is reassuring patients that it is continuing to work hard to improve after a recent satisfaction survey saw it ranked amongst the worst in Somerset.
Of the 109 patients who responded to NHS’ recent survey, 81% rated their overall experience of the surgery as ‘good’, a figure which saw the health centre ranked 69th out of 75 providers in the county.
The survey showed that patients were most pleased with the care they received from nurses – 100% of people said they had confidence and trust in the last nurse they spoke to. The nurses also scored above the national and Somerset averages in how well they involved patients with their care and treated them with respect.
People’s satisfaction with the care they received from their GPs was about the same as the national average.
Patients were least impressed with their experience of making an appointment, and waiting times at the practice. Only 44% of people said they didn’t feel they normally had to wait ‘too long’ to be seen.
The practice, which was rated ‘Outstanding’ by the Care Quality Commission (CQC) last year, has over 30,000 registered patients from the local area.
Following the survey the practice has reassured patients that it is working hard to address patients’ concerns, and has employed more staff to provide extra appointments.
Senior partner Dr Helen Kingston said, “When it was announced that the practice had been awarded the extremely rare and coveted ‘Outstanding’ rating we made it clear that, whilst delighted and extremely proud of this achievement, there was no way that we would ever be resting on our laurels and we would continue to work hard to improve each and every level of patient care and service. This is exactly what we have been doing.
“Like everyone else, I am very aware that the waiting times to see a GP on a routine appointment is a cause of concern. This is flagged up in the survey.
“However, notwithstanding the national shortage of GPs, our patients should know that we are doing everything in our power to address this issue. This includes the appointment of new nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists and paramedics to work closely with our GPs as part of the team, helping to increase the number of appointments available to patients.
“It was encouraging to see the current survey also showing areas of the practice where our patients’ levels of satisfaction are higher than the local and national figures.
“Through our Patient Participation Group and other channels we are constantly listening to what our patients tell us, good and bad, and we often act upon their positive suggestions as being part of the solution.
“It is also worth pointing out that this survey does not reflect the fact that we are one of the largest GP practices in the South West, providing many clinical services not available elsewhere. We also face a very different set of challenges compared to other GP practices.
“The demand on the NHS and particularly GPs is unprecedented. Nevertheless, with fresh initiatives and with the help and support of our own patients, we remain utterly committed to improving every level of service.”
The full results of the GP Patient Survey can be read online at www.gp-patient.co.uk