Research conducted by Cancer Research UK claims patients are put off visiting their GP due to quizzing from receptionists asking why they need to see their GP.
4 out of 10 adults who were questioned out of 2,000 said they were unhappy with having to discuss their conditions and illnesses with office staff to get an appointment.
Many patients did not seem to want to make a fuss when trying to book themselves an appointment, and so it seems, just left making one altogether. However, experts say that patients have a right to the services and so, must be more forceful and not take any rejection from receptionists, if they have symptoms which need investigating.
The top issues surrounding patients and GP appointments that the survey brought to light was, difficulty in getting an appointment with specific doctors or at convenient times and having to speak to receptionists about symptoms.
Nearly a third of patients who were interviewed were also afraid that they may be negatively viewed as a person who makes a fuss if they were slightly forceful in trying to get an appointment.
Technological advancement in collecting data within GP surgeries can help in combatting issues such as this. The introduction of free standing Kiosks can help. Kiosks are stationary touch screen devices but are also an effective method of collecting patient feedback as they employ the same methodology and workflow as tablets. The optimum deployment of kiosks is at a location where patient complete once they’re discharged. Although debatable, patients are more likely to give a fully honest reply when there is no staff member sat with them (they are not in fear that the feedback they give will negatively impact any future care received).
In order to make more patients feel comfortable with the process of going to see their GP’s, the government is funding training for office staff to be more sensitive towards patient’s needs. This comes from a £45m General Practice Forward View fund, where the first £5m will be available for use soon.
The first point of care in primary care is the receptionist. Their job is to decide which patients need to see the GP urgently. Although their job is vital for the care system in place, findings from the survey suggest that some can be off putting in their job role and approach.
DCC have worked with many different practices by implementing Kiosk’s to collect data on services and how to increase better services for patient care. The data collected from surveys such as these allow health services to make better decisions and changes, creating a better health space within communities and the NHS overall.