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Local Patient Reference Group Report  March 2012

The reason for this report

We as a practice are required to post a report based on the "Direct Enhanced Service Patient Participation 2011/2012 & 2012/2013".  

Under the directive the report must contain certain elements pertaining to patient access to services of the practice, which are repeated in this web site. It is not an unnecessary duplication, but a requirement.

Jump to Action Plan and Resolution Section


Recruitment of Patient Reference Group


We aimed to recruit patients who had access to and were able to use a computer and the internet in line with directives from the PCT.


How did we recruit the Patient Reference Group?


1.       Invitations on the index page of our web site

2.       Emailed those patients for whom we had an email address

3.       Posters in the waiting room

4.       Message on the LED Display Board in the waiting room

5.       Flyers

6.       Attachments stapled to prescriptions

7.       Face to face invitations by GPs and receptionists


The invitations directed patients to a dedicated application form on the practice web site. The dedicated form was accessed on 85 occasions, 53 people started to fill in the form and 43 people completed and sent the form to the practice collator. All the applicants were accepted for the patient reference group, although only 37 patients subsequently responded to an email informing them of their successful application.


We have kept the group informed about progress of the campaign using the mass emailing facility on “Mail Chimp”. We have emailed them on 4 occasions.


1.       To inform them of their successful application

2.       To canvass their opinions in constructing the survey

3.       To inform them of the survey results giving them full access to the same including free text comments. We invited them to attend a meeting to discuss the results and formulate an action plan.

4.       To thank them for attending the said meeting.



What measures did we take to include groups and minorities?

We tried to recruit people from the Asian minority groups but the general response was that they were not interested.


Being an internet based process, we were unable to recruit anyone from Care Homes whose computer access was limited by availability and ability or otherwise to use the internet. We did manage to recruit a number of people in the elderly bracket.


How did the group structure reflect the patient age sex register and ethnicity?

We determined that it was inappropriate to include anyone under 16. Furthermore, we determined that although it would have had some value, that the contribution that would be made by age group 16 to 20 could be limited.



How did we canvass the reference group to ascertain areas for survey?

We emailed the patient reference group with 8 areas for prioritising and invited any free text comments. The email was read by 36 of the Reference Group. The email invited the respondent to access a questionnaire on Mail Chimp. 33 of the Reference Group sent us the resulting survey from which we were able to determine the areas of priority for the survey.


We constructed the patient wide survey using Survey Monkey. The survey sought views determined at a meeting with the Patient Reference Group on 13th March 2012.


Summary of the responses of the Patient Reference Group



The Survey

What methods did we use to create the survey?


1.       Invitations on the index page of our web site

2.       Emailed those patients for whom we had an email address

3.       Posters in the waiting room

4.       Message on the LED display board in the waiting room

5.       Flyers

6.       Attachments stapled to prescriptions

7.       Face to face invitations by GPs and receptionists


We invited patients to take part in the survey using a direct link to Survey Monkey or via the practice web site with a link to the same.


The Patient Survey


See the Survey Results  (opens in a new window. too big to display on this page)


How did we collate the survey results?


The results were collated by our facilitator and web master, Dr John Bidwell. The results were fed back to the Patient Reference Group including any free text comments using a mass emailing provided by Mail Chimp containing a link to the survey on Survey Monkey.


How did we use the survey and the Patient Reference Group to identify areas in the practice in which we fell short of performance?

We held a meeting with the Patient Reference Group on 13th March 2012. The survey results were presented to the group.




Access to services


Opening Hours and Surgery Times


Opening Times

Surgery Times


8.00am to 6.30pm

8.30am to 11.00am & 1.30pm to 6.00pm


7.00am to 8.00pm

7.00am to 11.00am & 1.30pm to 7.30pm


8.00am to 6.30pm

8.30am to 11.00am & 1.30pm to 6.00pm


8.00am to 6.30pm

8.30am to 11.00am & 1.30pm to 6.00pm


8.00am to 6.30pm

8.30am to 11.00am & 1.30pm to 6.00pm







For Emergencies when closed we have access to the out of hours   service.


Resolution of the 2012 Action Plan

The issues in the practice were identified from the practice survey. With the help of the Patient Reference Group, we addressed the issues. The sections in red font are how we resolved the issues.

Telephone system

Patients found that the automated telephone system was cumbersome although such a system is designed to speed the access to an appropriate person or service and was a modern trend in any business activity.

Planned Action

A new telephone system is scheduled to be installed in September 2012 as part of the building refurbishment. The telephone menu cannot be determined at this stage of the plan, but we will take on board criticisms of the current system.

Action Taken

A new telephone system was installed in September 2012 as part of an NHS East Lancs-wide technological telecommunications improvement. The practice may introduce a new menu driven element in the future.

Appointment System


Some patients do not like the triage system. We explained at the meeting of the Patient Reference Group that there were many advantages from the practice point of view, and helped in the smooth running of the appointments system. We understand that from the point of view of a patient requesting an appointment that this was a different experience to simply obtaining an appointment on the spot.

A presentation was given at the Patient Reference Group meeting by Alison Anderson, one of our nurse practitioners explaining why we triage.

Planned Action

A full explanation of the triage system will go on the website

Action Taken

We have added an explanitory page to the web site which will clarify why we triage. See this page.

The role of the nurse practitioner

Alison Anderson, one of our nurse practitioners  gave a presentation about the role of the nurse practitioner. We felt that the role was not clearly understood by the practice.

Planned Action

A full explanation of the role the nurse practitioner will go on the website.

Action Taken

We have expanded our information on the web site about the role of the nurse practitioner. See this page.

Seeing a doctor of your choice

This is not always possible for every request. Delivery of GP services has other members of the team who deliver services. The Patient Reference Group was given an explanation about the national trend in general practice and in particular in this practice that the personal list concept regrettably is being eroded. Some relief of the appointments system will become apparent by the appointment of GP registrar who will be in post in August 2012.

A GP registrar, Dr Farhana Islam, is in post until August 2013. It is our intention to obtain a new registrar in August 2013.


Overall the feedback was positive; however, the survey indicated that a small percentage of patients were dissatisfied with the service. The practice is aware of some areas in which we need to improve.

Planned Action

We will arrange training in customer care for reception. 

Action Taken

Customer Care Training was undertaken by General Practice Training and Consultancy Services.

Foundation year two doctors (FY2)

Overall the patient satisfaction feedback was positive. However, the survey indicated that some patients did not know the status of the doctor whom they saw.

Planned Action

  1. Dr Quinn and Dr Ibrahim to review the induction programme of FY2 doctors.
  2. The doctor should introduce themselves to the patient.
  3. Signage on the consulting room to be changed to include "foundation year two" below the name of the doctor.

Action Taken

Points 1 and 2 have been done but due to the new building work, signage will not be undertaken until the building is completed.

Chronic disease management

The survey results suggested a high degree of satisfaction with the way we handled this area of service. Clinical effectiveness and adherence to the clinical guidelines were not part of the scope of the survey, however, the service is monitored an audited by the practice and overseen by general practitioners.

Planned Action

We will continue to strengthen the nursing team and continue with training updates.

Action Taken

All our nurses have undertaken courses as part of their continuous profesional development.

Repeat prescriptions

Patients were generally satisfied with the service provided. A number of patients reported that they were “never offered” an internet based request for repeat prescriptions. The practice feels that if possible this method of ordering was “practice preferred” being, efficient, accessible 24/7 and did not tie up the administration in the ordering process.

Planned Action 

None required



Feedback from the meeting suggested that we needed more health promotion information. A particular member of the meeting suggested a link to “REAL” which is an access point to services in the Rossendale Valley.

The web site is being underused for effectively promoting health.

Planned Action

The practice will look at the feasibility and usefulness of such a link, notwithstanding the general purpose of the web site which is to act as a patient resource for the practice. Too much diversity in a web site can cause it to loose its identity and purpose.

We would consider improving the web site’s information on health promotion.

Action Taken

We have added a link to "REAL"

We have also made the web site more accessible to the disabled, both visually and those who find mouse manipulation difficult. Text enlargement facility and access keys, together with key board navigation hints have been added. We have added a cookie policy in line with current EC regulations.

We have found it difficult in practice to include health promotion information. There is a lot of information on the web which we could not reproduce. Our recommendation for health promotion information is Patient UK


Although the group initially did not indicate that they wanted a newsletter on their survey, it was apparent at the meeting but in fact they did want a newsletter.

Planned Action

We will produce a newsletter which will be available both on the website and also hardcopy by request from time to time.

Action Taken

We managed to produce one newsletter so far.This is available on the Web Site and hard copies are available from GP Reception. Our next newslatter will cover Spring /Summer and will be produced by Annette Cooper.





Method of obtaining access to services throughout the Core Hours

Description: 01706 605115 or go to Reception to arrange an appointment.
Consultations are by appointment only. Appointments are booked at 10 minute intervals. Urgent appointments are available during surgery hours.


There are two types of appointment:-

For On the Day Urgent Appointments, we cannot guarantee the health professional of your choice which may be a doctor or our nurse practitioner.

When you request an on the day urgent appointment, your request will be assessed by a Health Professional. The receptionist will take your contact details, and the Health Professional will ring you back in a timely manner and will decide on an appropriate course of action.

Pre-bookable appointments can be booked up to 4 weeks in advance with a doctor of your choice. This type of appointment may be made with reception, by phone or in person.

More information on the communications page

How do I Arrange for Telephone Advice?

Description: can book a telephone consultation for advice. This is not always with the doctor of your choice and is available during surgery hours. How to request a Home Visit?

Consultations are normally carried out in the surgery but if you are too ill to come to the surgery a home visit can be requested. A request for a home visit will be assessed by a doctor who will decide on the best way of dealing with your problem.

Home Visits

Requests for home visits should normally be made before 10.00am

When the surgery is closed?

More details are available on our out of hours page

If you require emergency treatment or advice out of normal surgery hours telephone 111. The call receiver will either give advice, arrange a home visit, or arrange for you to be seen at the Primary Care Centre at Rawtenstall by a doctor or nurse, or order an ambulance depending on the nature of the emergency. The consultation is not likely to be with someone who is aware of your previous medical problems or medication so it is appropriate to restrict requests to those problems that cannot wait until normal surgery hours.

What is NHS 111?

Description: 111 is a 24hour telephone help line. The help line is staffed by people who can help reassure you and give you telephone advice and information or refer you to an appropriate professional. Anyone can ring NHS 111 at any time. Call 24 hours a day Phone 111 Or visit NHS 111 on line by clicking here




Where is the nearest Walk In Centre?

    Bury NHS Walk-In Centre
     22 Derby Way
     BL9 0NJ

     7am – 10pm Monday to Friday
     9am – 10pm Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holidays.

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