Results of the October 2014 survey into the new automated telephone system at New City Medical Centre.
New City has 5,300 registered patients and a survey was conducted by the Patient Group (PG) during October 2014. Members of the PG were present on six half days during October and managed to elicit the views of patients attending the surgery on those days. There was the potential to speak to 279 patients who had appointments with the healthcare team during the hours when members of the PG were present. However due to the small numbers of the PG and their availability only 126 (45%) patients were approached; of which 124 kindly completed the survey; only two patients refused. The following is an overview of the findings.
Ease of usage: In response to this question the chart below shows the resulting responses:
This shows that one quarter of the patients completing the survey had either never used the new telephone system or had found no difference in it, however 18 (14%) had experience difficulty with it. The majority 74 (60%) found the new system easy or very easy to use. When asked for comments regarding the telephone system usage ranged from positive responses stating it was ‘no problem’; ‘easier’ and ‘liked the one number better than the separate numbers’. Nevertheless there were others who were not so positive about it remarking about the length of the call; ‘put on hold which is time consuming and costly’; ‘very costly if you pay by the minute for your calls’; one person stated ‘on hold for 20 minutes’. Others remarked on ‘the lack of ring back facility’ with one stating they ‘tried to get through all day and finally when to the surgery instead’. A few acknowledged that if you had hearing problems this system was not the best to use. Others commented that they would prefer to talk to a person rather than an automated system.
Number of times used: in response to this question the chart below indicates the usage of the new telephone system:
This shows that 5 (4%) of patients did not answer this question, that may have been because they had either never used or did not notice any difference to the system as 32 (26%) reported. 87 (70%) of those who had used the system had used it ranging from once to more twice.
Awareness of Patient Group: The survey also addressed the questions regarding whether patients at New City were aware that there was a Patient Group and whether they would be interested in joining. The charts below indicate the results of these questions.
As the two previous charts show slightly more than half attending patients 68 (54%) were unaware of the PG however 53 (42%) were aware and 4% did not answer. Though when asked if they were interested in joining the PG the majority 99 (79%) were not interested in joining with another 3 (4%) not responding but on the plus side 22 (17%) indicated their willingness to be involved. The PG has gained potential new members resulting from this survey.
Comments made: Whilst the majority of the patients were satisfied with the care received at New City the survey also gave patients the opportunity to raise any queries they may wish raised; these involved the following: Most were in regard to the waiting times for appointment with the general consensus that more GPs are needed. The turnover of GPs/locums was also an issue with many complaining that there were only certain times when particular GPs were available. Another aspect was that patients cannot make appointments for the following day in surgery. Patients also remarked that there is a need for better coordination between the team; one patient stated ‘I attended the surgery three times in one day for different reasons for example to see doctor, have bloods taken and collecting prescription’. Privacy in the reception area was another concern with some patients suggesting ‘bring back the TVs so everyone doesn’t hear your conversation’. However for some it was the problem of inadequate translation services if English is not their first language.
May the Patient Group take the opportunity to thank all those patients who kindly completed the survey and we would like to wish all patients and staff at New City Medical Centre a Happy Christmas and good wishes for 2015.