I would like to thank all those patients who have filled in the Friends and Family survey forms. You have helped to confirm, what I always thought, that MKVP is the Number One GP practice in Milton Keynes.
For the past year I have been analysing the comments from these forms, of which some 98%, are very positive. However, I believe that most of the negative comments are connected with the difficulty of obtaining appointments on the day and/or at a specific time.
There are a number of factors which contribute to this problem:
- The national guideline for patients per full-time GP is approximately 1800. Currently our GPs have approximately 2300 registered patients each. Hence the need to close the patient list again, in order to reduce the lead in time for an appointment.
- There are a considerable number of missed appointments which could have been reallocated (175 appointments covering 34 hours in April 2016).
- Many people come to their GP for minor illnesses which can be dealt with at the Pharmacy; their staff are competent and would urge you to seek a GP appointment if they felt that was the right course of action.
If you are unable to arrange a personal appointment with your normal doctor, it may be worth considering one of the following options:
- Telephone appointments These are an excellent option when a face-to-face consultation is not necessary. The Care Navigators can advise on whether this is appropriate in each case.
- Registrar appointments Although the Practice operates a personal GP list, it may be possible to see one of the Registrars. A Registrar is a fully-qualified doctor, training to become a GP.
- Same day appointments If it is essential you are seen the same day, and your GP is not available, another GP can usually to see you. This option should not be used for ongoing issues.
- Nurse appointment Some matters can be dealt with by the Nursing Team. Again the Care Navigators can advise on whether this would be appropriate.
I hope this letter helps you to understand the pressures the practice is under, and to consider if there are ways in which you might help to ease these pressures, to everyone’s benefit.
The high level of satisfaction among patients indicates that, even when they are unable to see their own GP at a time they would like, they are satisfied with the service they receive from other members of the practice, and with the treatment and outcomes.
If you wish to comment on the content of this letter, please write to me care of the Practice. Any comments will be considered by the PPG at a future meeting.
Chair, MKVP Patient Participation Group