Patient experience is widely spoken about in the NHS. I think we would all agree that there are many positives and at the same time there are always points to learn and improve. So in this blog post I share my experiences of a recent visit to the GP.
So let’s start with the positive aspects of my experience. The GP surgery where I am registered recently created the facility to book and manage appointments online. I was able to access the system and get a slot with my own GP that same morning.
When I arrived at the surgery I was able to register that I had arrived electronically which meant that valuable receptionist time was not taken up.
Even though it was a busy morning surgery, I was called within 10 minutes of my scheduled appointment time. This is well within my expectations.
When called to see the GP, he asked questions, did all the checks and set up a plan of what needed to happen next. So far so good from my perspective.
After the really great experience up until that point, it was a mixed bag from that point onwards. I needed to have bloods taken. The first slot available was in two weeks time which I could not do. There were no slots yet scheduled for the New Year so could not complete the booking.
The receptionist did suggest an alternative place locally where I could have the bloods done. She offered to give me the number to call but I said I was going there for an x-ray so should be able to book at it the same time.
On arriving at the alternative location to book a blood test, the receptionist advised that they could not book appointments at the desk, only by phone and should have been advised of this at my GP Surgery. On the positive side she did give me a slip with detailed instructions of how to make the appointment, which I duly did by phone.
Another positive was the walk in service for the x-ray. When called through the Radiographer had to spend a few minutes getting more information of the reason for the x-ray due to limited information on the referral from the GP.
So how would I summarise my experience as a patient? In terms of clinical care I could not fault it. I was seen promptly and felt well looked after. What would have made it even better was some simple things. Having things set up to allow reception staff do their job. A schedule for the first week of the year would have been a huge start. Making sure that the next person who saw me in the process had enough information on the referral sheet.
Ultimately, a bit of forward planning, communication and making it as easy as possible for the next person in the pathway to do their job.
Duncan Brodie helps healthcare organisations deliver great performance through people. Learn more here.