New Breast Screening Leaflet for woman over 70: The Northern Ireland Breast Screening Program offers screening to women aged 50-70 every three years. Older women are encouraged 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
We use a full appointment system. We operate to ensure 48-hour access to a health care professional. This means that you as a patient should not have to wait any longer than 2 working days to see or speak to a doctor or nurse. If an appointment within 48 hours has not been offered and you feel your problem cannot wait please leave a contact number and a doctor will return your call at the nearest possible time. Whilst we can ensure that you speak to or are seen by a healthcare professional within 2 days we cannot guarantee that it will be with the doctor or nurse of your choice.
- Try to arrive on time for your appointment
- Remember one appointment is for one person
- Cancel your appointment as soon as possible if you don't need it
Bear in mind some problems take longer than others and be patient if you have to wait (one day your problem might be the long one).
If you need to speak to a doctor, the practice currently operates a system whereby patients are welcome to telephone :
Monday-Friday 11.30am - 12.30 noon
If a doctor is not available during the appointed times the patient may leave a contact number and the doctor will return the call at the nearest possible time.
If a patient rings outside these times he/she may be asked to ring back during the appointed times. If this is not possible the patient may leave a number for the doctor to make contact at an appropriate time.
In an emergency the Receptionist will take details. Assurance will be given to the patient that it will be attended immediately. The duty doctor will be contacted immediately and appropriate will be taken.
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.