Patient Group continues work with community

MEMBERS of the forward-looking Academy Medical Centre Patient Participation Group are continuing to build links between practice staff and their patients.

The group, one of only a handful in Scotland, has recently completed its second patient survey and is now working through the findings and implementing a number of action plans.

The aim of the group is to consult and plan with patients, whenever possible, on the facilities and provision of services, and to bring a sense of ownership and partnership between practice staff and patients.

Chairman Marion Fenwick is delighted with the work which has gone on in the past, but is aware there are still a number of issues which have to be dealt with, including communicating to patients the range of service on offer at the practice, as well as ensuring patients understand why certain issues are dealt with in a particular manner.

She said: “We have done another survey and have found there are still a lot of services provided by the practice that patients are not ware of.

“There is also still a lot of confusion as to what the triage nurse service is about. Maybe we should call it triage/minor illness nurse.

“There can also be some frustration when people phone up for an appointment and the receptionists ask certain questions. It’s not a case of the receptionist being “nosey”. The receptionist has to ascertain what the problem is and who the best person is for the patient to see.”

The Academy Medical Centre PPG was set up following a successful public meeting in October 2010, and since then has instigated a number of initiatives, including its information shop in the reception area at the practice which is manned by NHS-trained volunteers. It has a wealth of information pertinent to various health initiatives.

Its latest initiative is the Health Matters column which we will run monthly on the third week of every month.

This will be run in conjunction with the doctors, nurses and members of the PPG and will cover a variety of health topics which affect the whole community.

For the first issue - see column opposite - the topic is the minor illness service and an explanation as to the questions asked by receptionists when dealing with patients calling to make an appointment.