A SURVEY of patients from across our area has revealed the worst doctor’s surgeries for getting an appointment.
The GP Patient Survey, which was carried out and published in 2018, asked respondents to rate their satisfaction with their surgery in a number of different categories.
This included their experience making an appointment and the results revealed which surgeries patients in the Portsmouth area were least satisfied with in this category.
The News contacted all of the GP surgeries on the list to get their response to the survey's results.
Here is what the ones who responded had to say (listed in alphabetical order):
This surgery in the Drayton area of Portsmouth had a 60.3% satisfaction rating in the survey results.
In a statement, the partners at Drayton Surgery said: ‘Since the patient survey was carried out - between January and March 2018 - the Drayton Surgery has actively addressed patient access to appointments.
‘The patient survey in early 2018 was sent out to 243 patients out of our practice registered list of 18,000 patients.
‘Of the 243 surveys sent out only 118 patients responded. This is approx. 0.7% of our practice population.
‘Of those questioned, who responded, 75% were happy with the type of appointment they were offered. This compares with 74% National satisfaction rate.
‘We are aware that patients may not always be able to see the doctor they want to see, at the time they would prefer.
‘In order to address the increasing demands posed by the health needs of an ageing population, with limited resources we have tried to adapt our working style and clinical team.
‘Along with many other GP practices across the area we have been trying to recruit new GP’s over the past year. We remain hopeful to recruit in order to improve the supply of Doctor appointments.
‘To boost our clinical team, in line with the GP Forward View, and the Dept of Health drive to develop Multi Professional Health Care Teams, we have recruited additional Advanced Nurse Practitioners and a Clinical Pharmacist.
‘This has enabled us to increase our Same Day GP Access such that we never refuse patients’ requests for appointments when they have a clinical need to be seen on that day.
‘Our Duty team review all requests for same day appointments and a GP carries out a telephone consultation with the patient to assess how urgently the patient needs to be seen, as well as who is the most appropriate person to see the patient.
'We also introduced eConsult in December 2018 to offer an alternative method for patients to consult the GPs for non-urgent problems without needing to attend for a face to face appointment.’
East Shore Partnership
This surgery, which has two separate practices in Portsmouth, was given a 38.8% satisfaction rating in the GP patient survey.
Dr Elizabeth J Fellows, from East Shore Partnership, said: ‘We have been aware that we have had problems with access and taken a lot of actions to improve things within our practice over the last few months.
‘Despite the shortage of GPs we have been able to recruit a GP to work with us.
We have also now got 2 Nurse practitioners (both of whom are prescribers and very experienced in primary care ) working full time and 2 paramedics who between them work across the week.
‘These people see a lot of the people who contact us unwell on the day which has released a lot of appointments to allow GPs to see those with more complex needs.
‘We have been able to extend our appointments from the standard 10 minute slots to 15 minutes to enable surgeries to run to time more often and to deal with people with multiple medical needs more efficiently.
‘Our reception staff have undertaken some additional training in signposting to make good use of our local pharmacists where appropriate, physio triage and our local talking therapies service Talking Change, saving people having an appointment in the practice first to only be sent on to a service that they can access directly and often online.
'We have recruited in additional practice nurses to undertake specialist work for those with respiratory illnesses and help with the ever increasing dressings that people need.
‘Another important member of our team that started back last summer is a pharmacist who sees people to do routine medication reviews, which has been a great help to release our GPs to do the more complex work.
‘We also have an additional part time phlebotomist to enable more people to have their blood taken at the surgery.
‘We have enabled e Consult and make good use of these on line consultations to help people get to the right place first time.
‘It is particularly helpful when we can arrange tests first and then get a person seen by the most appropriate clinician for their problem.’
Eastney Health Centre
Located in Southsea, the Eastney Health Centre - which has become part of the Trafalgar Medical Group - had a 46.4% satisfaction rating for patients making appointments.
Dr Jonathan Price, senior partner with the Trafalgar Medical Group Practice (TMGP) which includes the Eastney Practice, said: ‘We have performed very well in some areas of the survey, and while there is always room for improvement we do feel patients at Eastney are already - and will benefit in future - from improvements to our service since our merger last year.
'We have invested considerably in our phone systems, acting in response to patient feedback, and split our incoming call to an enquiries line and an appointment time to reduce patient waiting times.
‘We’ve also recruited new GPs successfully, against the national trend, and more patients are making use of our website, such as eConsult, to make general and routine enquiries.
‘This is freeing GP time for the patients we most need to see. We have also had a good uptake to our telephone consultations.
‘We feel our practice is in strong position to provide the needs of our patients moving forward.’
Hanway Medical Practice
This surgery on Hanway Road and in North End in Portsmouth had a 49% satisfaction rating in the survey.
Dr Ian Morris, senior partner at the practice said: ‘We are delighted that the survey shows that we have the highest satisfaction levels among Portsmouth GP practices for our online services, but we are always striving to improve all our services for our patients - and it’s disappointing that our rating for making an appointment is not higher.
‘Patients requesting appointments today can have a routine appointment in two weeks’ time.
‘For urgent same day requests we have a GP and two nurse practitioner clinics daily and another nurse triaging calls.
‘We also offer early morning, Saturday and late evening appointments.’
This surgery in Havant had a 54.7% satisfaction rating for patients experience making an appointment.
In a statement Homewell Practice said: ‘More than two-thirds of our patients receive consultations the same day they phone and we offer various alternative options to face-to-face appointments such as phone and online consultations and we are looking to expand these services.
‘We are also delighted that the survey acknowledges the high level of trust and confidence that patients have in our doctors and nurses – and our recent CQC inspection rated us as good.'
Sunnyside Medical Centre
Located in Fratton, this surgery had a 59.8% satisfaction rating for experience making an appointment in the GP patient survey.
In a statement Sunnyside Medical Centre’s Dr F Moss & Partners said: ‘We are disappointed with this result, which reflects a prolonged period of reduced staffing between the retirement of a GP and the recruitment of their successor.
‘This clearly had an impact on appointment times, patient access and our perceived performance.
‘We are now back to full GP numbers and we hope this will resolve these issues.’
This group, which has four surgeries across Gosport, had a 44.6% satisfaction rating in the survey.
Dr Robin Harlow, Willow Group GP Partner said: ‘These results from March 2018 highlight some of the issues that we have been acutely aware of surrounding access at the Willow Group. Over the last few months we have worked hard to improve this.
‘Long standing issues with our phone lines have now been addressed, with new software greatly improving this.
‘There is also the national issue of GP recruitment and retention which is being felt particularly hard in Gosport.
‘We have recently recruited three new Locum GPs, which will help meet the demand we are experiencing, however we recognise that accessing primary care in the area is still an issue.
‘This has created challenges which is why we continue to invest in, and explore, new ways of working for our patients.
‘These include e-consult, which more and more of our patients are using, our Same Day Access Service and on-site pharmacists and mental health support workers all enabling patients to see the most appropriate clinician or get the advice they need on the same day.