New Breast Screening Leaflet for woman over 70: The Northern Ireland Breast Screening Programme offers screening to women aged 50-70 every three years. Older women are encourgaced to contact their local screening unit if they wish to attend. Leaflets are available at the practice reception. Further details are also available at www.cancerscreening.hscni.net, under breast screening.
Patient Satisfaction Survey
During December 2008 and January 2009 the Practice carried out a patient satisfaction survey. The practice would like to take this opportunity to thank all patients who took the time to provide us with this valuable feedback. A total of 134 questionnaires were completed.
Summary of Results
The surgery has committed to offering access to a health care professional within 48 hours. This means that you as a patient will not have to wait any longer than 2 working days to see or speak to a doctor or nurse. This system has been running now since April 2010, and appears to be working very well. Whilst we can ensure that you speak to or be seen by a healthcare professional within 2 working days we cannot guarantee that it will be with the doctor or nurse of your choice.
Self Check-In System
We have now installed a self check-in system. This system is very user friendly and easy to use with many benefits. It links directly to our electronic appointment system which when used will automatically let the doctor or nurse know that you have arrived for your appointment and more importantly it will provide you with an estimated wait time for your appointment. This system will also reduce the likelihood of a queue forming at reception enabling greater confidentiality for patients discussing medical matters with the receptionist at the desk. We would like to promote this system for the benefits that it serves to our patients, however if you would prefer not to use it, don’t worry as it is not mandatory and the receptionist will always be happy to do this for you at the reception desk.
Over recent years the Practice has been carrying out patient surveys, which has provided valuable feedback in relation to our telephone system. We are aware that this is a service that Patients would like improved. We would like to reassure patients that the Practice is committed to ensure this service improves and keeps it constantly under review.
The Practice has had numerous discussions with our telephone provider regarding technical solutions to solve this problem. Unfortunately options are limited and each of the options would mean considerable change and disruption for our patients. One option under consideration is a standalone phone number for ordering prescriptions, this is not a favourable option as it would cause confusion for patients and restrict the times in which prescriptions could be ordered. The only other option available and under consideration is installing a complete new telephone system, however this would include automated messaging; press 1 for… press 2 for…. etc., our experience of these is that they are confusing, frustrating and irritating and we would not like to subject our patients to this unless it was absolutely necessary.
As mentioned the technical options are certainly at best not favourable, as a result at this stage we have opted to review practice procedures and strictly manage these to ensure maximum efficiency of the current system, which hopefully will improve the current service that we provide for you. Changes implemented are as follows:
- A ring back service where rather than patients being directly transferred to a nurse or doctor which would block the line a message will be taken and sent to the doctor or nurse to ring the patient back. Obviously in emergency situations the call will be transferred immediately;
- Calls for community staff on 21771411 will no longer be transferred, patients will be asked to ring back on 21771173;
- Patients are requested to avoid ringing between the hours of 9-11 for prescriptions and blood results;
- Repeat prescriptions can now be ordered securely online, we are confident that numerous patients will find this service very useful;
- Appointments can be managed, booked and cancelled securely online, again we are confident that numerous patients will find this service very useful;
- External agencies will no longer be allowed to contact the surgery using the 21771411 number.
We would like to apologise for any inconvenience that the above may cause to patients, however we feel that this is lesser of the evils and are confident that strict management of the above will lead to an improved service for our patients.
Finally we would like to stress that the telephone system will continue under review and we intend to carry out an audit early in the New Year to establish if these changes have been effective. If the results of the audit are not favourable we may be forced to proceed with one of the technical options mentioned.