Wiltshire Publications

Health centre looks ahead after ‘disappointing’ patient survey

WESTBURY’SWhite Horse Health Centre is hoping that newly- recruitedGPand nursing staff will help restore patients’ confidence after a recent satisfaction survey saw it ranked amongst the worst in Wiltshire.

Of the 112 patients who responded to the NHS’ recent satisfaction survey, 80% rated their overall experience at the surgery as ‘good’, a which figure saw the health centre ranked 53rd out of 56 providers in the county.

The survey showed patients were most pleased with the help they received from nurses, and their experience of making and attending appointments was generally on par with, or above the national average.

Patients were least impressed with the care given by their GPs, which  was rated lower than both the national and Wiltshire average.

The White Horse Health Centre acknowledged its shortcomings and is hoping that a recent successful recruitment drive will help restore patients’ good faith.

Practice manager Mark Dickson said, “We take the results of the survey very seriously and see this as an opportunity to address any areas where we didn’t score as well as we would have liked. We were, however, delighted that we scored above average in responding to telephone calls from patients, amongst other positive areas.

“We are currently, and have been for about a year, understaffed by at least one whole time equivalent general practitioner. We have made numerous attempts at recruiting but were not successful until very recently – our new recruit having not yet started.

“We are hoping that this recent recruitment will have a positive effect on both our capacity and continuity. There has been a well documented and growing national problem of a shortage of GPs and practice nurses, and we hope an overly negative response to a very limited survey will not discourage possible new staff to both the White Horse Health Centre and to general practice.”

The health centre was built in 2012 at a cost of £5.7million, and serves nearly 20,000 patients from Westbury and the surrounding area.

Mark Dickson continued, “We have also appointed two new partners within the last 18 months, one of which is a GP trainer who has driven us towards gaining status as a training practice. This could not be achieved until he had been with the practice for at least 12 months.

“We will be having two trainee GPs with us from August 2016 and have also taken on nurse practitioners. These new members of staff will aid with our capacity and availability of appointments, and we are constantly reviewing our skill mix to assess the need for alternative clinicians.

“Lastly, we are in the final phase of a complete overhaul of our ‘on the day’ appointment system, which we believe will have a very positive impact on the service we provide.

“We were disappointed that the results of some areas of the survey were not as positive as we would like, but stress that we were addressing these issues before we learnt the results of the survey.

“We are constantly striving to improve our service and continue to provide a Health Centre that our patients can trust and can be proud of.”

The full results of the GP Patient Survey can be read online at www.gp-patient.co.uk