There was an article in yesterday’s Observer reporting on a survey showing that Brits are less likely to ‘rate their doctor’ online than restaurants or holidays. Parking any engagement with the quality of the study (because it’s late), the article underlined the importance of patient feedback in informing change in the NHS and suggested people were wary because they thought nothing would change, the NHS didn’t care, they would get staff into trouble or their care would be affected.
Today I dutifully logged on to NHS Choices to rate my GP. I completed the boxes and fed back. I then read the other five comments about my surgery. An anonymous poster recommended the surgery two years ago, but complained about the leaking roof. One person complained about the lack of continuity of care. Two other very recent posters raised the same issue I’d outlined in my previous post. The sixth person, anonymous in June, wrote an essay about the wondrous care they’d received over the last 15 years. Here is an extract;
I really can’t think of how they could improve it. I marvel at how well-run it is, and how intelligent and knowledgeable the doctors are, and how kind and responsive the other staff are. When I was very ill at home once, they sent round a community nurse every day, and doctors visited me at home and phoned me several times. On another occasion I failed to respond to a letter asking me to make an appointment because of some blood test results, and the doctor personally visited my home and left a handwritten note, they were so concerned.
Whoa. We’ve been at the practice for 15 years too and haven’t had a sniff of this uber-service. I want to know more. How do you access this level of healthcare? Marvel at how well-run it is?? A handwritten, hand posted note after failing to respond to something? Responsive staff? Home visits? Concern???? This patient’s 15 year period spans the entire roller coaster experience of LB’s diagnoses and everything that came with that (too laborious and lengthy to even start recounting). Where was the GP in all of that?
I can only hope this feedback is a plant… Ironically.
At our local practice patients with priority medical conditions do report getting this uber-service. I believe GPs get paid extra for prioritising them. Can’t remember what the priority conditions are, but they definitely not obscure, nor those with a disputed existence nor ones that are difficult to diagnose (been there, done those). Just shows what happens when you start tweaking sub-systems without increasing the capacity of the system.
That’s interesting. I had no idea. I’d love to know what the conditions are (and the socio-economic/ethnic breakdown of the lucky few). It sounds as though the patient may not be aware they’re getting special service from the patient’s extract.