Our Patient Focus Group
What is the Patient Focus Group?
Our Focus Group is a Patient Reference Group - (PRG) or Patient Participation Group (PPG) as they are known. PRGs are made up of patient volunteers who get involved in decisions about the range and quality of services provided by their Doctors Surgery. We started the Fownhope Medical Centre PRG in 2011 and it has given us invaluable feedback about things that work well what we need to improve at the surgery.
How the Focus Group was set up
Fownhope Medical Centre covers a large geographical area with very limited public transport systems and no single centre. Also, a large proportion of patients are working or raising young families. We decided that a ‘virtual’ patient reference group based on email would work well for patients who could not easily travel to meetings or with home/family commitments. This means there is no limit on the number joining the group and it offers flexibility for members to respond to surveys or put their views forward at their convenience. We have kept our options open and hold meetings 3 times a year for members of the group who find face to face meetings useful.
The Patient Reference Group continues to thrive and we regularly advertise for new members in the surgery, on our new patient registration forms, slideshow, website, newsletters and in local Parish Magazines.
Working with the group to look at patient feedback
The aim of the group is to find ways of getting feedback from a range of patients and assess whether there is a demand for change in specific areas. We produce a Patient Survey, and we also look at suggestions from the box in the waiting room, complaints, issues raised in emails from patients and meetings.
This has resulted in the following improvements;
more appointments available for booking in advance
routine appointments available to book online via Patient Access
improved patient information in the waiting room and a discreet area for leaflets
a review of the timing and layout of Tarrington Flu Clinic
a texting service for results and appointment reminders
a quarterly newsletter
an updated website.