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Patient Participation Group

We are very pleased to announce that thanks to a very generous donation from Towcester Rotary Club the Towcester surgery now has a patient health booth. The health booth provides patients with the opportunity to take their blood pressure and have their weight and height accurately measured at any time that the surgery is open without the need for an appointment.

We would like to encourage our patients to use the facility and ensure that they give the receptionist the blood pressure reading before leaving so that it can be checked by a Clinician and added to their medical record.

The photos show the health booth being used by the Towcester Rotary club President Mr Adrian Harrison.

Patient Health Booth Mr Harrison using the booth

Expanding the Patient Group - New Membership

In the past 11 months we have made many attempts to encourage additional membership in the light of NHS reforms and the move to give patients more control over how budgets are spent locally on services. Discussions have been held at the bimonthly meetings to decide on the best way of attracting new members and it was decided that we should aim for both members who are able to attend the meetings and also ‘virtual’ members who can contact us by email. Posters were created asking for volunteers and placed in local public places where the well patients might see them, including:

  • Waitrose
  • The Coop
  • The Library
  • Towcester Leisure Centre
  • Silverstone village notice board.
  • Towcester Rotary Club
  • Towcester Lions
  • Towcester Conservative Club
  • Towcester British Legion
  • The Food Bank

An article was also written and posted on the local website ‘About My Area’ for three consecutive months appealing for patient opinions through Patient Group membership.

Within the Practice members are always sought through an appeal in the monthly surgery newsletter, via the digital Patient call screen and notice boards and by information slips on reception. The patient update forms currently being handed out on reception to patients also have a section asking patients to advise if they are interested in joining the group and if so to provide their email address The website has also been used to try and attract members to the group and in order to appeal to possibly the younger generation a Facebook page has been established which amongst other things has asked for volunteers to join and give their opinions. We are also looking to write to the Head of Sixth Form at Sponne School to invite students to come to a meeting and discuss what the younger generation would like from their practice.

Despite all our efforts we have not been hugely successful in recruiting new members and have managed only three attending new members and two virtual members.

Patient Participation Group Carers Survey

As a patient, please take the time to complete this survey so that we can try to improve the services we offer to those who care for others on an unpaid basis. You may not consider yourself a Carer but if you look after a loved one, friend or neighbour who would not be able to cope without your help as they suffer from a physical or mental disability this makes you a carer.

Click here to complete the survey.

During the Patient Group meetings it was decided that a Patient Questionnaire should be conducted to gain an overview of patient opinion on certain aspects of the Practice. The group decided that we should focus not on satisfaction with clinical issues but on satisfaction with ambience, surroundings, opening times and clinics provided. The question structure was carefully formulated by the members as well as the length of the survey. Once finalised decisions were made as to how to ensure distribution of the survey and the following was decided:

  • The survey should be available on the reception desk
  • The survey should be available on the website
  • Patient Group members would volunteer to hand out the survey to patients during surgeries

A copy of the survey is available on the website. As it is still on-going we do not yet have any results to publish. The patient group will meet on May 16th to begin analysis of the survey outcome and commence discussions on the action points as a result. These will be published on the website and on the notice board within the surgery to inform all our patients of the agreed measures to be taken to ensure increased patient satisfaction.

The results and action points from the previous survey are available on our website but to summarise the changes made;

Weighing Scales made available for patients to use anytime

Local newspapers provided in the waiting room

Family Planning Clinic established on Friday mornings

Ambulatory Blood pressure monitors made available to patients

Normal Blood Pressure monitors available to lend to patients

Establishment of SMS texting service as appointment reminder

Patient Group members would volunteer to hand out the survey to patients during surgeries

The survey was slightly adapted to reflect differences at Towcester and Silverstone surgeries and handed out at both.
A copy of the survey is available in the box at he bottom of the page.

Analysis of the survey results was conducted by group members and the information converted 

At our group meeting in January this year we discussed the results of the survey and what if anything we could practically act upon on behalf of the patients. The following conclusions were drawn:

Towcester

Opening Times Patients are overwhelmingly happy with these
Advanced Booking Patients are overwhelmingly happy with 6 weeks
SMS Texting Just over half would like to sign up
Music in the waiting room Vast majority want playing of CD’s to continue
Booking Appointments Vast majority book by telephone. Few use website
What is the website used for Very few use it. Those who do order repeat prescriptions mostly
Clinics patients would like Well man and woman most favoured as well as family planning and healthy eating
Additional facilities Most favoured a self appointment check in screen followed by loan service of Blood pressure monitors and provision of weighing scales
Waiting room facilities Patients would overwhelmingly like daily newspapers

Silverstone

Opening Times Patients are overwhelmingly happy with these
Advanced Booking Patients are overwhelmingly happy with 6 weeks
SMS Texting Just over half would like to sign up
Music in the waiting room Vast majority want playing of CD’s to continue
Booking Appointments Vast majority book by telephone. Few use website
What is the website used for Very few use it. Those who do order repeat prescriptions mostly
Clinics patients would like Well man and woman most favoured
Additional facilities Most favoured modern weighing scales followed by loan service of Blood pressure monitors
Waiting room facilities Patients would overwhelmingly like daily newspapers

Patient Education Promotions

Throughout the year the patient group have been responsible for selecting topical health issues to promote to all other patients by way of a notice board and distribution of information leaflets. The topics chosen were as follows;

Antibiotics Awareness

Seasonal Flu campaign

Hayfever self help guide

Choose Well Campaign

GP Educational Talks

During the year one of our GP's has kindly given brief talks at the meetings on selected health issues. This year they have been Osteoporosis, Menopause, Skin Cancer and Diabetes. These are well received and very informative.

Those Areas to be acted upon

  • SMS texting for appointment reminders and DNA’s has been implemented.
  • Promotion of the website and the facility to book online is in hand.
  • Well man and Well Woman clinics have been attempted before but patients were invariably unable to make clinic times. It would therefore be better to offer well man and woman appointments however in order not to overwhelm clinicians with ‘well’ patients it may be better to offer them at significant ages such as at 40, 50, 60 and 65 (Milestone MOT’s).
  • Family planning clinic has been established on Friday mornings with our two female GP’s from 9.00 - 11.00am.
  • The self appointment check in screen has been investigated but the layout of the reception area at Towcester would not make it feasible.
  • Two new ambulatory blood pressure monitors have been purchased by the Practice and are being lent to patients on the advice of a Clinician for 24 hour measurements to be taken. In addition at Silverstone we have had a very kind donation of a blood pressure monitor in the waiting area for use by patients whenever the surgery is open.
  • A set of modern weighing scales are to be provided at Silverstone surgery as well as a set for use in a public area within the Towcester reception area.
  • Provision of daily newspapers at no extra cost to the surgery is being investigated.

WANTED – PATIENTS OPINIONS!

We would like to hear what you think of our current services and what you would like to see us offer in the future. GP Commissioning is not far away now and it will be up to you the patient to tell us how you want your money spending.

We have a patient participation group already who meet every 6 weeks at the surgery for one hour to put forward ideas and opinions on how we can make things better. We would like to hear from all age groups from young mums to carers and young professionals. If you cannot spare the time to attend the meetings then why not become part of our virtual patient group and contact us by email. In turn we will take your suggestions to the meetings and let you know the outcome.

The idea of the group is not to be a platform for individual complaints but to be a voice for your age or social/ethnic group and tell us what you do and do not like or provide positive suggestions on how we can better serve the community

For more information contact Maxine Roberts, the practice manager at the surgery.

Click here for the Patient Participation Group Online Application form to join the group

Your Neighbourhood Professionals. Just a Click Away!
John White Funeral Directors Towcester Physiotherapy Clinic