2012 Survey of the Patient Representative Group

View the survey, results and action plan from our survey in 2012.

Our survey was undertaken in house. Over 2000 patients were invited to join the Patient Group. Information regarding, sex, age, ethnicity were collated on the initial request. Over 130 people requested to become members of the PPG (Patient Participation Group).

A further email was sent out to the 130 members of the PPG requesting their participation reviewing our appointment system

Previous patient surveys have shown a very high level of satisfaction with the surgery. However our last patient survey raised questions about the ease of access to appointments which traditionally has been very good at Burford Surgery. Recently we have also had some complaints from patients about difficulty booking appointments. The PPG was used to seek their views on the system and how it can be improved further. We also asked if there were any other issues which they wished to be discussed (there were no other suggestions).

The PPG were emailed a survey the following questions:

Does the current appointment system meet your needs?
How satisfied are you with the current appointment system?
Do you have a usual doctor?
For a problem you feel needs dealing with on the same day which one of the following would be most important to you?
For a problem you fee does not need dealing with on the same day which one of the following would be most important to you?
If we were to make changes to the appointment system which of the following would be the most important to you

Do you feel the following are import or not important?

Accessing results without having to speak to a a doctor
Email access to a doctor
Booking appointments on–line

Free text for comments


Yes 90%
No 10%
Very Satisfied 43%
Satisfied 35%
Neither Satisfied nor Dissatisfied 14%
Dissatisfied 8%
Very Dissatisfied 0
Telephone appointment with usual doctor 33%

Telephone appointmentl with any doctor

Surgery appointment with usual doctor 18%
Surgery appointment with any doctor 26%
Telephone appointment with usual doctor 39%
Telephone appointment with any doctor 12%
Surgery appointment with usual doctor 35%
Surgery appointment with any doctor 14%
Lunchtime appointments 15%
Early morning appointments 27%
Later afternoon appointments 31%
No change 27%
Important 74%
Not important 26%
Important 73%
Not important 27%
Important 67%
Not important 33%

Difficulty in obtaining surgery appointment with usual doctor within a day or two suggesting shortage of doctors or increased in number of registered patients creating an overload.

Excellent service all round.

For female issues prefer female doctor but not always available.

I feel that the appointment system is running very well.

I used to be able to make an appointment to see my usual Doctor with a 2 day wait but recently the time scale has extended to over five days or more. Is this because of a large number of older patients requiring mor e attention or is the Surgery short of a doctor?sometimes a telephone appointment with the usual doctor is sufficient ot discuss an existing condition but sometimes even that can be on a rather extended time scale.

I would like to see or speak to a doctor at least, within 2 days of my request.

It would be good to have Saturday morning appointments.

Keep it as it is.

Not being able to get appointment with usual doctor for up to 2 weeks is very frustrating.

Not had any problems with the current system.

On occasion where it is necessary to see a doctor it is difficult to get a prompt appointment.

Online telephone appointments would be useful.

Phone Appointments on line.

Satisfaction all round.

System appears to be working v.well!

There is too long to wait to see my doctor at Carterton. When I joined the practice it was chosen because there were afternoon surgeries and I thought this would mean easier access to my GP. Nw it is common to be given a date with a wait of over 2 weeks to see my own GP. Whilst I don't mind seeing any doctor with routine problems, I would choose to keep my own GP on my case with longterm issues.

Very satisfied.

Always want a doctor's interpretation for results.

I hardly ever use your services -- I'm lucky, so far.

Occasionally we have had to wait several days for any sort of an appointment with any doctor. Mostly the delay does not matter but sometimes it can be worrying.

Although I prefer to speak to my usual doctor, because of familiarity with my medical condition, happy to talk to any doctor if they can have immediate access to my notes. For me, the important factors are: quick access, quick response and good time keeping.

I do sometimes feel that it is very difficult to get an appointments with my usual doctor, because of this i now try to see a different doctor who is not one of the senior doctors and manage to get an appointment with her much quicker. i feel that if you have had a serious illness like cancer which i have although the doctor i saw was very efficient i would like to have been able to speak to the same doctor each time regarding my treatment but was not always able to get an appointment for 5-6 days to see my usual one. i think this makes the situation worse for the patient.

Not directly about the appointment system but about access to the person at the desk. Often, when I come into the surgery to collect my prescriptions on a regular, monthly basis, I find the person on the phone with another patient and sometimes this conversation goes on and on for a very long time. The wait for her to be available to get my prescription can be a very long wait. If there were two people available in the reception area (as there sometimes is with another person working at the desk around the corner of reception) this problem could be completely eliminated. Otherwise, I think the Burford surgery is splendidly organized.

My husband wanted to speak to a DR and was given a telephone appt in 2wks. This seemed rather a long time to wait for a telephone query. I would have said within the same working week if non urgent.

Generally works well for both GPs and Nurse. On the subject of 'results' I do not think they should ever be communicated without the interpretation of a GP. Too much room for misunderstanding otherwise!

The current system would be fine if it worked correctly. I find the online appointments a bit hit and miss as to whether the appointments have been made available to book. It sometimes has been proven that there are times free when you phone but they're not showing on the computer system.

It has been very helpful in the past being able to email my usual doctor, for example when items have dropped off repeat prescription in error. I have usually received a reply by return which has been brilliant. I don't find the online bookings are any good as the slots available are so far in advance. I still ring the surgery to make all appointments. The only change i would welcome would be evening appointments one day per week - to make it easier to come after work.

Ideally I would like to see/speak to my usual doctor but realistically this is not always possible, particularly with Dr Willby. Having access to a doctor if required immediately, is important to me either by phone or appointment. I am self employed/semi retired so the time of the appointment (if not urgent) isn't important to me. Duty doctor system for on the day requests is a good idea.

As a fairly new patient my experience is still limited.

The current telephone answering system is not altogether satisfactory. In surgery hours a potential patient just wants to speak to someone - immediately. Out of hours a telephone answering system is of course necessary. While the volume of telephone calls in hours may make an answering system (press button 1 etc) attractive to the surgery it is impersonal and rather bureaucratic.

I have had little need of a doctor during the past 12 months so can't claim to be that familiar with what is presently available. However, visibility of available appointments online (rather like booking an online food delivery slot) would be extremely useful when trying to juggle life's demands, be it work, children or other... It is time consuming and awkward trying to find a convenient time to see a doctor in non-emergency situations when you have a complicated schedule.

Generally the system seems very inflexible. Having to wait 2 weeks to see your preferred doctor is not satisfactory. Early mroning and late afternoon appointments would be much more convenient for people who are working. Telephone appointments simply do not resolve the problem, and not everybody can decide what is or is not an emergency. Being asked by reception what the problem is is not appropriate, and also can be too public.

It works for us.


We were pleased to note that the needs of the majority of the patients were met by the surgery. However continuity of care is something that the patients obviously value - this is backed up strongly from the survey results.

If you discuss appointment systems with any doctors surgery you will realise that there isn't a perfect system. However as a result of the survey and the very helpful comments we shall re-organise our appointment system to try to allow easier access to the usual doctor. There is always a compromise between offering suffcient urgent appointments and the subsequent impact on the wait for a routine appointment.

From April we plan to open up a proportion of each of the available doctors' appointments every day. This should increase the chance of being able to consult with your usual doctor. This will need monitoring and we shall adjust the proportions over time. As always this becomes increasingly complicated

We are also delighted to announce that we have appointed Dr Angela Netherwood as an additional doctor at the surgery. We hope that this will increase the total number of appointments and improve doctor availability as well. Many of you may remember her as she was our GP Registrar a couple of years ago. We look forward to welcoming her back to the surgery.

We would like to thank all the patients who helped us in the survey. We had 2 responses from the PPG who expressed satisfaction with the action plan (see below). We would welcome any suggestions for further input from patients and the patients group in the future. The results of the survey have been emailed to the members of the patient group for comments, but any other patients are welcome to contribute via the form below.

Suggestions for future activities:

How about a sponsored walk around Burford?

Comments from PPG members about the plan

Comments: It is great that you are employing another doctor. Any chance of getting her background and interests on the website?

Comments: Paragraph 3 sounds like a very good idea! Paragraph 4 should make a lot of the female patients very happy.