Leading by example – Avicenna Medical Practice, improving GP access for patients

Improving access to GP practice is one of the key issues highlighted by patients. The team at Avicenna Medical Practice, Bradford decided to face the challenge and look at how they could redesign their service to better meet the specific needs of their patients.

The practice administration team looked at patient feedback to get an understanding of some of the main access issues for their population. These included frustration around being unable to get an appointment and queuing outside the surgery before it opens in order to guarantee an appointment.

The practice also audited GP appointments to see if they were being used effectively. The audit found that only 16% of people actually needed to see a GP. The remaining 84% could have been seen by a different healthcare professional such as an advanced practitioner or pharmacist. In 6% of cases, the appointment was an administration related issue.

After a brainstorming session, the Avicenna team decided to implement a drop in and triage service. This service allows patients to drop into the surgery at specific times, be triaged and then directed to the most appropriate professional to help, including pharmacists, advanced practitioners or nurse practitioner – freeing up GP appointments for those patients who need them.

Ensuring patient satisfaction is at the heart of the drop in and triage service. After just a week of implementing the new system, 80% of patients were happy to rate the system as good or excellent.  The whole practice is on board with the new system and a monthly review of the system ensures that it continues to work well for their patients 

The system has seen some marked improvements in patient satisfaction. The results of the Avicenna Medical Practice Friends and Family Test (FFT) found that 92% of patients were likely or extremely likely to recommend the surgery to family or friends – an improvement of more than double on 2015.

After being live for three months, Avicenna Medical Practice are now sharing learning with other GP practices in Bradford City CCG, specifically encouraging them to look at the range of skills available within their practice to support their patients.

The administration team at Avicenna Medical Practice were recognised for their work at the 2016 Yorkshire and the Humber Leadership Academy Awards for ‘outstanding achievement by a non-clinical team’. You can view a video of the finalists, including Avicenna Medical Practice.

For further information, please contact Sarah Rhodes, Practice and Business Manager, Avicenna Medical Practice - sarah.rhodes@bradford.nhs.uk