Thornbrook Surgery – Patient Survey October 2014

The Patient Participation Group undertook a survey in October 2014. This was the fourth year that the group had conducted a survey and as with previous years the survey questions were agreed upon by the Patient Group. At the front of the survey there was a paragraph highlighting the changes made following the analysis of the results from the 2013 survey, these being:

A: Launch a campaign to collect mobile numbers and email addresses for patients

B: Utilise SMS text messaging and email to inform patients of events/changes at the surgery (eg. Flu Clinics). Consider use of a banner at Chapel Market Place as another method of communicating these messages.

C: Utilise the revised website and other media (leaflets, posters etc.) to promote and educate the patient population with regards the skills and roles of the Nurse Practitioner and Practice Nurse team. Over time this should ease pressure on the appointment system and improve patients perception of access to the clinicians.

D: Aim to improve links with local community and also align the demographic of the PPG with the patient population by liaising with local high school and college and inviting students to join the PPG and attend 2-3 meetings per year. 

The opening statement of the survey also made reference to other areas the patient group has raised to the GP Partners and Practice Manager over the last 12 months. These range from potential improvements to the path outside the surgery to provision of more hand sanitizer. It also highlighted that the Patient Group is also sending representatives to a meeting of High Peak Patient Groups which will also provide ideas on how to keep the surgery improving for all patients. 

As with the previous surveys, it was made available over the month of October to patients who are registered with the surgery. Members of the Patient Participation Group distributed the survey to any patients that attended the surgery when the flu clinics were being held, in addition, the reception team actively promoted from October to the end of November. 

In total, 378 responses were received which represents 4.42% of the patient population – this was an increase on the number received in the last 3 years (3.85% in 2013, 2.51% in 2012 and 2.15% in 2011) and over the recommended response rate advised by the Clinical Commissioning Groups Patient and Public Engagement team (2%).


Tick box questions

In this year’s survey, several of the questions (7 out of 13) were the same as previous years so the results could compared. The remaining questions addressed some of the changes that have been made and gained a view on the reception team. 

The questions that were the same as previous years surveys can be compared as follows:






Can you see any doctor or the nurse practitioner on the same day, or within the next two working days?

50% - Yes

76% - Yes

75% - Yes

75% Yes

Can you get an appointment with any doctor more than two days in advance?

49% - Yes

75% - Yes

78% - Yes

46% - Yes

How often do you see the doctor you prefer

74% - most of the time

80% - most of the time

82% - most of the time

79% - most of the time

Have discussions in the past 12 months with a doctor or nurse about how best to deal with your health problems been helpful?

96% - Yes

98% - Yes

92% - Yes

96% - Yes

How easy is it to get an appointment with a practice nurse?

78% - easy

76% - easy

80% - easy

81% - easy

How easy is it to get through to the surgery on the telephone?

70% easy to get through

69% easy to get through

67% easy to get through

63% easy to get through

How satisfied are you with the overall care provided?

95% -Satisfied

97% -Satisfied

94% -Satisfied

96% -Satisfied


The overall care result has fallen, it last dropped in 2012 and whilst the result was very pleasing in 2013 it will continue to be monitored to see if this can be brought back to the 2013 level.

One of the major changes made following the 2011 survey was the introduction of a Nurse Practitioner for urgent on the day appointments. This continues to return positive results in the survey with over 95% of those that used the service finding it useful (255 of 267 patients).

This year was the second year that the survey looked at the how patients found the reception staff. There were two questions, one relating to the reception staff on the telephone and one relating to the staff on the reception desk. Whilst it is essentially the same staff that perform both roles the responses last year highlighted a difference of 5% in terms of how helpful the staff are in each role. This has narrowed to 1% this year with overall results up by 3% for the telephone service and disappointingly down 1% for the service on the reception desk.and this could be investigated and addressed by the surgery over the next year. The results showed that 97% of patients found the reception staff on the desk helpful (98% last year) and 96% found the telephone staff helpful (93% last year).

Last year the survey asked what patients thought about the ‘Apps’ available for online booking and repeat prescriptions with 88% of those who responded stating that they had not used the ‘App’. This has fallen to 80% which is a positive reflection on the work carried out by the reception team in promoting the online facilities.


Comments section

67 of the surveys (17%) had additional comments recorded (the survey included a page where patients could make additional comments) whilst this was still less than the first years survey (33% in 2011) it was the greatest number of surveys with comments received and also an improvement on the 9% returned last year. These have been allocated into different sections as follows:


There were 21 comments about the appointment system. There was a 25/75 split between positive comments and negative comments. This was a significant increase than previous years coupled with more negative comments. It reflects the fall in the positive score on questions 2 and 3 in the survey (Q2 Can you see any doctor or the nurse practitioner on the same day, or within the next two working days of, contacting the surgery? Q3 Can you get an appointment with any doctor more than two days in advance?). The scores for both of these has dropped by 25% and is an area for the practice to consider.


Surgery Staff

1 comment was made in relation to the Surgery staff. This was very positive. A number of surveys had comments written on other pages relating to staff – these were split fairly evenly between positive and negative comments relating to the reception team.



There were 6 comments regarding IT, these were mainly positive with a couple of constructive comments regarding the online appointment booking system. A couple of comments were requests for the practice to consider using a mobile device for consultations using Skype/Facetime or a similar application and there was a comment about the transfer of notes.


There were 38 comments made that were general in nature. 21 of these were positive comments in relation to the surgery as a whole. There were 6 comments that were quite negative and these were observations on various things, for example, poor lighting in the car park, the nurse practitioner arrangement, automated phone system, waiting times, general customer service and nurse availability.

The remaining 11 comments were constructive comments, suggestions or just general in nature. Website development, bike rack installation, refreshments facilities in waiting room, more parking spaces, open evenings and concerns about the new housing developments were recorded and will be discussed by the Patient Participation Group and/or the GP partners.


Please see the Patient Particpation Group Report for the conclusions and priorities for the practice and patient group to work on.

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