From Keighley News, 20th July 2017
Written Miran Rahman
A KEIGHLEY surgery rescued from closure has scored well below the national average in a patient satisfaction survey. North Street Medical Practice fared poorly in the annual GP Patient Survey. Only a little over 50 per cent of its patients responding said they found their overall experience to be good. Just over 30 per cent said it was easy to get through to someone on the phone at North Street.
But Caroline Rhodes, patient services manager at this practice, stressed that since the decision was taken in November 2016 to save the surgery it has recruited new, fulltime GPs.
"We're now fully staffed so no longer reliant on locums," she said. "We have a dedicated team and are working to improve the patient experience."
Dr James Thomas, clinical chair at NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven Clinical Commissioning Group, (CCG) said: “North Street practice shows an 11 per cent increase in patients reporting their overall experience as ‘good’, which demonstrates the practice’s commitment to improve care quality.
"They're working with local communities to help understand the needs of their patients and how these can be addressed.”
Last autumn patients and staff were warned North Street Surgery might have to shut when the contract to operate it expired. But following a public outcry NHS England confirmed a rescue package to keep the facility open.
A total of 1,894 people within NHS Airedale, Wharfedale and Craven CCG completed the GP Patient survey.
Nearly 100 per cent of Haworth Medical Practice patients said they were able to secure a convenient appointment, compared to less than 80 per cent from North Street Medical Practice.
More than 90 per cent of patients at Farfield Group Practice said the receptionists at their surgery were helpful, compared to 70 per cent at North Street Medical Practice.
The best performing surgery in Keighley district for views on waiting times was Haworth Medical Practice, with a little over 60 per cent of respondents saying they don't normally have to wait too long.
The equivalent figure for Cross Hills Group Practice was just over 30 per cent. And only 60 per cent of Cross Hills respondents said they were satisfied with the hours their GP surgery is open.
Dr Thomas, said: “Overall, these results show most patients are very happy about the services they receive.
“Our GP practices exceed the national average in some areas and the results clearly indicate improvements being made, which is testament to the hard work of GPs and their staff.
“Variations between practices reflect national challenges faced by GPs, such as increasing demand, complexity of patients’ needs and workforce issues.
"We recognise these challenges and are encouraging practices to share good practice.
"We're committed to continuing to look at ways to improve GP services, including longer opening hours on weekdays and weekends, and supporting the development of enhanced primary care services."
Keighley MP John Grogan said: "Clearly North Street Surgery is highly valued given the outcry when it was earmarked for closure.
"It's possible that the uncertainty has meant that it has not always been easy to deliver the highest quality service over the last year.
"General Practice doctors and nurses are facing considerable pressures both in Keighley and nationwide. I hope to visit all practices in the next few months to discuss how Parliament can help put them on a firmer footing."