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Patient Survey



You may remember that a couple of years ago we changed the way that we asked patients to help us by taking part in our annual patient satisfaction survey. In addition to seeking the views of patients who visited the Surgery, we also wrote to a number of patients asking them to let us know what they feel about the service we provide. The patients contacted were, other than all being over the age of 16, chosen at random in the hope that this would help us to get as representative a sample of people as possible. We were keen to get the views of all of our patient groups, including those who rarely need to visit us. This proved to be successful and we decided to follow a similar approach again this year.

We undertook the survey between 24 February and 21 March 2014. The survey was open to all patients, not just those written to, and was advertised on our website and by posters within the Surgery. To make it as convenient as possible for patients to take part the survey was available for completion on-line in addition to the traditional paper route.

As suggested by a member of our Patient Reference Group next year we will invite patients to take part by text message. We hope that this will increase the number of responses received and encourage those in younger age groups to give us their feedback.

When preparing the survey, we asked some patients for their ideas on what areas we should include. The suggestions received were considered and, where possible, were incorporated within the survey. In addition we spoke to the local Engagement Manager at Norfolk CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group).

The results have been analysed and, as promised, a summary of the findings has been produced and is published below. As part of the process a copy of the report was sent to the patients who in the past expressed an interest in being part of a Patient Reference Group for their comments. The comments made have been incorporated into the report.

We would like to thank those who took the time to help us by taking part in the annual survey for 2014 and for those who commented on the report.

Basic Demographic Information

Number of responses received: Online Paper Total
  86 101 187
Gender: Male
Female Did not specify
  43% 56% 1%
Age Range:
18-24 : 3%
25-34 :
35-44 :
45-54 :
55-64 :
65-74 :
75+ :
Not given :

Further demographic information such as ethnicity, sexual orientation and religious beliefs are available from the surgery.

Q.1 Please indicate your level of satisfaction with the Practice’s opening hours

  Online Paper Total
Very satisfied: 59% 74% 66.3%
Fairly satisfied: 30% 21% 25.1%
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied: 8% 4% 5.9%
Fairly dissatisfied: 2% 2% 2.2%
Very dissatisfied: 1% 0% 0.5%

You told us:

Overall, 91.4% of patients said that they were either ‘very’ or ‘fairly satisfied’ with our opening hours. This is very similar to the results seen in previous years with just 1 person very dissatisfied.

It is worth noting that of those patients who completed a paper survey and may be more likely to attend the surgery on a regular basis, 95% expressed satisfaction with the practice opening hours – this has increased steadily over the last couple of years.

Proposed Action:

We are pleased that the percentage of patients who expressed dissatisfaction continues to be at a relatively low level but we have for some time had anecdotal evidence that a large number of patients do not realize that we are open on selected Saturday mornings.

Q2. Are you aware that we offer pre-booked appointments on selected Saturday mornings with a GP or a nurse?

Yes – 55.6%
No – 44.4%

You told us:

Our impression that we offer appointments on Saturday mornings was not widely known was confirmed. The percentages were very similar between both the on-line and paper responses.

Proposed Action:

For some years we have advertised Saturday opening on our website and in our practice leaflet. Consideration will be given to additional ways that we can let patients know about this service. Initial suggestions include advertising this on printed prescriptions and including the information on our telephone answering system.
It should however be noted that the Saturday clinics are very popular with patients.

Current Opening Hours

Week Days

Reception Open

Telephone Lines Open
(01603 765550)
Monday 8am – 6pm 8am – 6.30pm
Tuesday 8am – 6pm 8am – 6.30pm
Wednesday 8am – 6pm 8am – 6.30pm
Thursday 8am – 6pm 8am – 6.30pm
Friday 8am – 6pm 8am – 6.30pm


Appointments are available to be 'pre-booked' with a doctor or nurse on selected Saturday mornings - usually, but not always, on alternate Saturdays. Whilst the appointments are open to all, they have primarily been designed to help those patients who find it difficult to get to the surgery during our normal weekday opening hours.

Saturday appointments can be booked in advance with the dates being available from Reception and also published on the Notice Board page of our website. Please note the telephone lines remain closed on Saturdays, as does the Reception desk, to all patients other than those who have a booked appointment.

Surgery closed.

Q.3 Ease of contacting the Practice on the telephone

  Online Paper Total
Very satisfied: 45% 49% 47.1%
Fairly satisfied: 38% 40% 39.0%
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied: 8% 3% 5.3%
Fairly dissatisfied: 5% 8% 6.4%
Very dissatisfied: 4% 1% 2.2%

You told us:

We appreciate that being able to contact your surgery easily is something which is very important to patients and can, at peak times, be a real challenge for us. It is therefore pleasing to note that we have managed to maintain the level that nearly 9 out of 10 patients who responded are either very or fairly satisfied.
On the other side, 8.6% overall were dissatisfied, a slight increase from last years survey where 7.3% indicated their dissatisfaction.

Proposed Action:

Due to changes within the reception team we have decided to review the way we deploy the staff with a view to seeing if the existing working pattern still fulfillls our needs. Early indications are that there may be scope for us to have an extra receptionist on a Monday morning - our peak time. In addition we have increased the number of members of the team which will improve the way we can manage unexpected absences.

Towards the end of 2013 we launched SystmOnline and the number of patients registering is increasing. This service enables patients to book appointments and also order prescriptions ‘on-line’.

We will be looking to increase the number of patients using this service over the coming months with the aim of releasing receptionists to speak to patients who need to have direct contact with us.

Q.4 Chances of booking an appointment to see a doctor or nurse within 24/48 hours

  Online Paper Total
Very easy: 28% 49% 39.4%
Fairly easy: 51% 38% 43.8%
Not very easy: 18% 7% 11.8%
Very difficult: 3% 6% 5.0%

Q.5 Ability to book an appointment with a doctor in advance

  Online Paper Total
Very easy: 28% 0% 11.9%
Fairly easy: 37% 45% 42.9%
Not very easy: 27% 40% 34.6%
Very difficult: 8% 6% 10.6%

You told us:

Overall, 83% of you told us that you found it ‘easy’ or ‘fairly easy’ to book an appointment within 24/48 hours and 55% had the same experience when trying to book an appointment further ahead. The survey indicated that patients are finding it easier to book appointments in advance but are not as satisfied at being able to book an appointment within 24/48 hours as they were in last years survey.

Proposed Action:

The above two questions are linked given the relationship between being able to book appointments in advance and at short notice. We are acutely aware that the ability to be able to do both is very important to patients, particularly for those who are working and need to be able to plan appointments around their diary.
To try to cater for this, we have a balance of ‘pre-bookable’ appointments and those that are released ‘on the day’. Pre-bookable appointments are normally available to be booked up to a month in advance. Over recent years the number of ‘pre-bookable’ appointments has steadily increased. This, coupled with our Saturday morning clinics, has made it easier to book appointments in advance. Whilst the Saturday morning clinics are open to all, they have primarily been designed to help patients who find it difficult to get to the surgery during the week.

We will continue to monitor the balance of appointments over coming months and adjust the number of ‘pre-bookable’ and ‘on the day’ appointments as necessary. Given the link between the two areas, the danger is that by improving the results from one question it will be to the detriment of the other.
Q.6 How easy have you found it to speak to a doctor over the telephone when necessary?

  Online Paper Total
Very easy: 41% 47% 44.9%
Fairly easy: 53% 40% 44.9%
Not very easy: 13% 13% 10.2%

You told us:

Whilst the percentage of patients who had found it ‘easy’ to speak to a doctor over the telephone has continued to show an increasing trend, it was disappointing that the number of patients who had not found this ‘very easy’ is high at over 10% of those surveyed.

Proposed Action:

The option of speaking to a doctor over the telephone is one that we would encourage and can often save the patient from having to visit the surgery. In addition to the convenience this brings, it also enables us to release appointments for those who need to be seen.

To ensure patients are aware of this service, we will be asking the Reception team to ask patients ringing for an appointment whether they feel their problem could be dealt with over the telephone. In addition, from time to time a message will be played over the telephone system advertising this service.

Q.7 During my most recent consultation with a doctor I would rate my overall satisfaction with the visit as:

  Online Paper Total
Very satisfied: 74% 84% 79.5%
Fairly satisfied: 17% 14% 15.1%
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied: 5% 2% 3.2%
Fairly dissatisfied: 4% 0% 1.6%
Very dissatisfied: 1% 0% 0.5%

You told us:

Almost 95% of patients surveyed said that they were either ‘very satisfied’ or ‘fairly satisfied’ with their most recent consultation with a GP at the surgery. This is the same level as seen in last year’s survey although last year the nurses were included within this question.

We are pleased to note that only 2.1% were ‘dissatisfied’, a reduction from 2.7% last year and 3.6% the year before.

It is also very pleasing that of those patients who completed a paper survey and who therefore may be more likely to be in the Surgery more often, 98% of patients said they were satisfied with their most recent consultation, with none saying they were in any way dissatisfied.

Proposed Action:

As part of the GPs revalidation process, they will all need individual surveys undertaken in due course. This will enable us to look at the results for each GP to see if there are any specific areas for improvement which can be worked upon.

Q.8 During my most recent consultation with a nurse I would rate my overall satisfaction with the visit as:

  Online Paper Total
Very satisfied: 82% 82% 81.1%
Fairly satisfied: 17% 8% 13.4%
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied: 1% 9% 4.9%
Fairly dissatisfied: 0% 0% 0.0%
Very dissatisfied: 0% 1% 0.6%

You told us:

A very similar outcome to the previous question with almost 95% of patients either very or fairly satisfied with their most recent consultation with a member of our nursing team.

Out of the 186 patients who responded only 1 was dissatisfied with their consultation.

Q.9 How satisfied are you with the manner in which you are treated by the reception staff, either face to face or over the telephone?

  Online Paper Total
Very satisfied: 67% 77% 72.4%
Fairly satisfied: 20% 19% 19.5%
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied: 8% 1% 4.5%
Fairly dissatisfied: 2% 1% 1.6%
Very dissatisfied: 2% 2% 2.0%

You told us:

Out of the responses received, 91.2% (170) of patients told us that they were either ‘very’ or ‘fairly satisfied’ with the way that they are treated by members of the reception team. This is a slight drop from last year.

The number of patients ‘dissatisfied’ showed a small increase in percentage terms and, whilst this is a concern, it should be kept in context that this was the experience of 7 respondents.

We were particularly pleased to find that of those who collected a survey form from the surgery some 96% were ‘very’ or ‘fairly’ satisfied with their experience of the reception team. As with last year’s survey, of those completing a paper survey, none of the respondents expressed any dissatisfaction.

Proposed Action:

Firstly, to thank the Reception team for both the hard work and professionalism that these results show they consistently demonstrate each day. Good service is crucial to the success of the surgery and training on this will be provided.

The reception team has had a difficult year with a senior member being unwell for some months. It is hoped that the change in working pattern mentioned above and the increase in the number of members of the team will help them to continue to maintain the high standards that they have set themselves.

Questions regarding the surgery:

For the first time we asked patients for their views on the surgery premises itself, the responses received were:

Satisfaction with seating area in the surgery:
Very satisfied: 69%
Fairly satisfied: 28%
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied: 3%
Satisfaction with décor in the surgery:
Very satisfied: 53%
Fairly satisfied: 31%
Neither satisfied nor dissatisfied: 10%
Fairly dissatisfied: 2%
Very dissatisfied: 4%
How helpful did you find the posters and leaflets in the waiting area?
Very helpful 57%
Not very helpful 10%
No opinion 33%
Have you found the surgery clean and tidy?
Very 95%
Not very 0%
No opinion 5%

You told us:

General feeling is that patients are satisfied with the building and its cleanliness although there seems that work could be done to improve the way that leaflets and posters are displayed.

Proposed action:

The way the cleaning at the surgery is structured has been improved and we will continue to closely monitor this over the next couple of months.
We will look at the way that we display posters and leaflets in the surgery to see how we can make them more relevant to patients.
The prints in the waiting room were commented on by members of our PRG and we will be looking to update these shortly.

Patient Comments:

We asked patients for any other comments that they would like to make and indicated that we would be particularly interested in any suggestions to either improve the service we provide or any other services that patients would find useful. The comments received have been listed below. These are currently being reviewed.

Reception staff always helpful and deserve praise, doctors excellent as always.

Dr Bendi very kindly and caring especially to the elderly. Thanks to you all

Waiting room noisy and too many people using their phones

I would like to say how lovely all the reception staff are, especially Heather who has gone out of her way to help me. The doctors are helpful and I can normally get an appointment

Door to waiting room hard to open, no need for all the lights in waiting room

I class myself as being very lucky for having such a wonderful surgery. All the staff are very helpful. Doctors all very good

I find I can talk to my doctor and he listens to me. I don’t feel I have to quick in saying what I need to say, I cannot praise them enough. They are all smashing

If you are unwell and cannot get to a phone close to 8am, doctors get booked quickly

I have no problem at all with the staff or the surgery at all

We have had excellent treatment over the last year. All three members of my family have visited and all of us are very happy with the care we received.
Minor point; it's sometimes slightly inconvenient not being able to make advance doctor appointments far enough ahead or in weeks with a bank holiday, this is not a major issue

I just feel it’s a very friendly helpful surgery compared with other surgeries I hear about

My mother is at the same practice. I would like to thank the staff for the way they are quick to respond when I phone the surgery for a home visit for her

As being very satisfied - none

Receptionists very blunt and rude at times

Just a bit disappointed about referral to hospital had to phone doctor twice seems as if my referral was overlooked

Very impressed with the whole practice nothing seems to be too much trouble

I wish you had room so noisy children and screaming or crying babies are in another area. Some mothers let them bang in the toy area and do not try to console their child

It does sometimes smell stale more so in the part Elaine and other nurses area

Very difficult to get through at 8-830 to book an appointment for that day, maybe more phone lines or staff answering the phone could ease congestion

One morning when I rang for an appointment out of six doctors only two were on duty! Allowing for doctor who was visiting where were the others

When I phone to make an appointment at 8am the phone has not often been switched over and then have to make lots of calls before I get through to reception

Pictures on wall near play area faded, a lovely helpful team willing to listen and help - professional and caring

I think our surgery is very good and I also tell them how good they are

I have always been very well treated and have no complaints. I have been with the practice over 70 years and hopefully a few more years to come

My only real criticism is the number of times you have to ring to make a fairly urgent appointment as the line is always engaged

Thinking of leaving the surgery that I have been with all my life as the standard has decreased dramatically

I feel the reception area is very open and not very private. People are able to stand close enough that they can listen in on private conversations

I wish there were more money for mental health problems

The waiting room is very comfortable

Often told fully booked when eventually getting through by phone between 8-8.30am. When phone engaged ring back is offered, when tried ring back not available.

Both medical and nursing staff very kind understanding. Evening and weekend surgeries very welcome extending the number of patients who can be seen

Always been pleased with the level of service and I would not want to leave the surgery. A lick of paint would benefit the practice

The music played in the nursing station area seems designed to raise blood pressure. Please abandon it or find some more soothing music

I have been a patient since before and after this surgery opened (29 years) As far as I am concerned everyone in the surgery has always been helpful, polite and easy to discuss my problems. I have heard my friends (who are at different surgeries say they have to wait for appointment - not here!! we are very lucky

The only thing I find difficult is not being able to get an appointment on the same day as ringing unless you make the call within the first 15 minutes but extremely happy with all the staff and the advice given by the doctors.

As you can see I have given my surgery top marks. The staff are very helpful from point of contact to professional contact

I am able to visit the surgery during the day, however many people would benefit from a surgery that opens in the evenings as well as a Saturday morning. Although some people use the NHS walk in centre

The surgery is the best in the city. The staff are very helpful and considerate

When I listen to people say how difficult it is to get an appointment at other surgeries I'm surprised as I can always manage to get an appointment here at Lakenham surgery on the same day that I phone in.

Repeat prescriptions - collection service by pharmacist - information e.g. leaflets at reception would be helpful (unless already there). Patient to be informed when hospital test results - blood checks etc. received

Very impressive service

Everything is fine I have been treated very well

Need some new blood pressure machines as quite often a problem to get a reading

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