"Medical centre was like a pop concert"

About: NHS Highland (Health)

(as the patient),

I attended my medical centre in Helensburgh for an appointment for with my GP on my arrival that afternoon I was shocked that at the temporary reception they had one member of staff on to deal with patients checking in and also had a radio blasting music.

I attend a medical centre to be treated and is this relevant for them to have a radio blasting music out it felt I was checking in to a pop concert rather than a GP Practice this is for sick people not a place for a concert, and I strongly recommend this be addressed as its not relevant to patients

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Response from Patient Advice and Support Service National Coordinator, Patient Advice and Support Service


We have read your story and thought you'd like to know that, if you want, we can help you get in touch with the medical centre in Helensburgh to take this forward. The Patient Advice and Support Service is an independent service which provides free, accessible and confidential information, advice and support to patients, their carers and families about NHS healthcare. We can:

• provide you with information, advice and support if you want to give feedback or comments, or raise concerns or complaints, about healthcare provided by NHS Scotland

• write letters and help you with filling in forms

• help you prepare for meetings with health staff

• help you to see your medical records

• help you understand your rights and responsibilities as a patient

You contact the service via any citizens advice bureau in Scotland. Visit www.patientadvicescotland.org.uk/ or use the phone book to find your local CAB.

Best wishes

Response from Caroline Champion, Planning & Public Involvement Manager , NHS Highland (Argyll & Bute CHP), NHS Highland

Dear waterloo

Thank you for taking the time to make this posting. I am sorry to hear of your recent experience.

I thought I would let you know that I am currently looking into this matter for you. The Helensburgh Medical Centre has two GP surgeries occupying the same building so I have been in contact with both Practice Managers today. Once I heave heard back from them, I will get in contact again.

In the interim, if you would find it helpful to discuss this matter further, please do not hesitate to contact me at caroline.cecil@nhs.net or telephone 01546 605681.

With grateful thanks,


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Response from Caroline Champion, Planning & Public Involvement Manager , NHS Highland (Argyll & Bute CHP), NHS Highland

Dear Waterloo

Further to my response on 2nd September, I have now looked into this matter for you & am better placed to provide a response on behalf of the two surgeries based at the Helensburgh Medical Centre.

At both surgeries, the receptions are routinely manned by one receptionist. There is always another receptionist who provides back up should the receptionist on duty need to leave the desk for any reason or if a queue forms.

One of the surgeries is currently being refurbished to improve facilities within the building. This includes a floor to ceiling glass wall so back room staff can observe the reception desk and be better placed to step in to help when necessary and will result in a better service for patients.

I understand that one of the surgeries has purchased a Self Check in Desk so that patients can check themselves in. This is a touch screen monitor on the wall. Patients are very happy with this as it saves them waiting in a queue when they really just want to say they are here. This also frees up the receptionist to deal with any queries patients may have without the added pressure of a queue building up.

Both surgeries have a radio playing in the main waiting area and have done so for quite a number of years now. With the radio playing at low volume, discussions between the receptionist and patients are less likely to be over heard by anyone else in the waiting area. This helps to protect patient confidentiality.

The two surgeries have stated that patients do like to listen to the radio or watch the TV while waiting to see the doctor or other health specialist. They have previously played “easy listening” music through the music system, which attracted a lot of criticism, then subsequently they played instrumental music but again this didn’t go down so well because people have different tastes in what they like to listen to. Having the radio playing in the background appears to be the best option, both surgeries have stated that there have been no complaints about it.

As we are unable to determine which surgery you are registered with, I am assured that your Practice Manager would welcome the opportunity to speak to you directly about the issues you have raised, or indeed any other concerns or issues you have about the surgery.

Another way you might like to provide feedback on services or get involved in your local health care service is through the Argyll & Bute Public Partnership Forum (A&B PPF). There are seven Locality PPFs, the Helensburgh / Lomond Locality PPF is your local group who always welcome new members, although you do not need to be a member to attend meetings. The next meeting will take place in October, details will be published nearer the time. If you would like to find out more, give me a call.

Once again, I am very grateful that you have taken the time to raise your issue through Patient Opinion, your feedback is of great value.

Please do not hesitate to get in contact with me if I can help further. My number is 01546 605681 or email caroline.cecil@nhs.net.

With grateful thanks,


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