I work as Deputy Practice Manager / HR & Facilities Lead at The Lawson Practice and was on Maternity leave when the Care Opinion pilot started at the practice so I only became involved from November 2018, I was asked to champion Care Opinion in our practice. To be honest I worried that it was just another place for patients to vent their frustrations and complain about the surgery.
We ask our reception team to promote it when they receive positive comments verbally as we realised that these were not being documented anywhere. We asked the same of our clinical staff and they have the Care Opinion direct ask cards in their clinical rooms to hand out. We also promote it to patients who have mentioned that they wish something could change or have voiced a grumble about something. This is a way for the patient to inform the practice of an issue and they in turn receive a direct response.
We mention patient feedback at every monthly practice meeting and remind staff to promote the use of the Care Opinion web site. The level of feedback is very manageable, so the workload is not too high.
The most important part of using Care Opinion, after promotion is obviously the responses. We need to keep on top of these so that patients can see that we are listening to what they have to say. We actively promote Care Opinion to our patients via the use of a Care Opinion screen saver on our patient screens in our waiting rooms, we have posters and leaflets available here too.
I work closely with the reception manager and the Lead GP Partner to manage the stories received. Between us we keep on top of the feedback and what actions are required, if there is enough promotional material needed and generate reports for feedback to staff in our meetings. Staff react most positively if there is a specific mention of something that they have done well from a patient, this encourages other staff to hand out the direct ask cards and leaflets to gather feedback. Staff have been positive about Care Opinion and happy to be involved, it really doesn’t take much work on their part – just remembering to give out the information.
We prefer to keep the responses from one person, for us this is the Lead GP Partner Dr Colvin. The stories are discussed with members of staff involved and then a response is written, this should be personal and appreciative of the feedback and ensure that the patient knows that we have listened to what they have said.
We recently received some feedback about unclear information on our practice website. After reading the feedback, we agreed with what the patient had pointed out and we were able to inform them in the response we published we were acting upon their feedback. We added the ‘We’ve made a change’ logo to the response in order to inform the patient we had listened to them & update our website with new information. We have also had some criticism regarding our appointment system and access to appointments. We try to offer the patients information on the different ways they can make appointments and access the surgery whilst explaining what we are doing to improve availability.
From gaining feedback through Care Opinion we have learnt that there are people willing to thank staff for the service that other patients sometimes complain about. That for negative comments there are equal reflections of positive comments. The service is adapting to the growing needs of the population and there are sometimes issues when introducing change. It is a useful tool for us to see that there are people who are finding the service is of a high standard and would recommend our surgery as it is a balance to the negative comments that we receive from other review sites.
Our patients also benefit from using Care Opinion. They can reply to our response and even point out if they have found it helpful. They can see if we have implemented a change directly to the area they have discussed. The stories allow for other patients to say that they are experiencing similar issues or compliment the same part of the service which is very useful. It shows our patients who has read their story so that they are clear that it is being looked at by members of the surgery team.
I would like to inspire other practices to use Care Opinion as it is very easy to use and takes very little work from a surgery perspective to implement. It takes time to keep reminding your staff to promote it. There are other places people can give feedback online (not Care Opinion) and unfortunately more negative than positive. This previous experience meant that staff felt reluctant to ask for feedback in case we received more critical comments, but the ability to show the patient and others reading the stories that their comments have evoked a change is empowering and we have seen a rise in staff getting a personal mention of thanks for their good service which is really uplifting.
The Care Opinion website is user friendly, the ability to personalise aspects of it and also receive a response from the patient to our practice response is a real benefit. The reports are helpful, especially the tag bubbles as they allow us to see what is good and what could be improved in a quick effective chart. I do believe that the focus of the site is transparency and openness and not as negative as some of the other review sites available, this makes staff at the practice more comfortable promoting it to patients.
We believe the focus of Care Opinion is transparency & openessWe believe the focus of Care Opinion is transparency & openess https://www.careopinion.org.uk/resources/blog-resources/84-images/4ecc5d8b07fb43bc9732b9279b455547.jpg Care Opinion 0114 281 6256 https://www.careopinion.org.uk https://www.careopinion.org.uk/content/UK/1/images/logos/po_header_logo.png
Update from The Lawson Practice
Posted by Amanda Rayner, Deputy Practice Manager, The Lawson Practice, on
About: The Lawson Practice
Response from Tracy Molloy, Engagement and Support Officer, Care Opinion on 10 Jun 2019 at 15:23
Thanks Amanda, its truly inspirational hearing how Care Opinion has helped staff feel safe about asking for feedback from the patients at The Lawson Practice, Its been great helping and supporting you along the journey.
Response from Amanda Rayner, Deputy Practice Manager, The Lawson Practice on 12 Jun 2019 at 14:37
Thank you Tracy, you and your team are very supportive and make this journey easy. I hope that the blog inspires other practices to get involved and we will certainly continue to promote the use of Care Opinion in our practice!