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GP surgeries in North Dorset have had contrasting results in the GP Survey 2017 which measures medical practices county by county on their performance.

The Gillingham Medical Practice which has two centres in the town, the Barn Surgery and Peacemarsh, scored 99 percent in overall patient satisfaction, putting it among the top five – joint third – out of 96 GP practices in Dorset.

Dr Kathryn Mounde, a partner at the practice, said: ‘The Partners and whole team at Gillingham Medical Practice were so delighted to be named 3rd equal best practice in Dorset in the annual GP Patient Survey.

‘Most importantly, we would like to extend our enormous thanks to our wonderful patients, who are incredibly supportive and with whom we have an excellent relationship.’

In contrast the Blackmore Vale Partnership, which covers the Abbey View Medical Centre in Shaftesbury, Sturminster Newton Medical Centre, Marnhull Surgery and Fontmell Magna Surgery,
received a satisfaction rating of 78 percent.

This puts it well below the Dorset average of 90 percent and the national average which is 85 percent, and it came 92nd out of the county’s practices.

‘We were saddened to see the latest results of the GP survey. As many of our patients are aware, the last twelve months have been challenging for the practice, due to staffing issues and the introduction of a new telephone system,’ the Blackmore Vale Partnership said in a statement.

‘The pressures our practice is under can be seen in GP practices across the UK, but we are working hard to resolve the concerns raised by the survey.’

The practice said it had already recruited:

– four more GPs
– pharmacy Staff to support improvements for the prescription process and patient access to advice on medication
– a paramedic to conduct home visits for patients and to work alongside the duty doctors each day to provide improved appointment access
– two more Nurse Practitioners
– four clinical personal assistants to work alongside the GPs to assist with the non clinical workload
– five more receptionists/administrators

The statement continued: ‘We have also provided extensive telephone handling and customer service training to our staff, and are now at full capacity with both clinical and administrative staff.

‘We would like to reassure our patients that significant improvements have been carried out, and while we recognise that there is still work to be done in certain areas, we were encouraged that the latest set of results for May, June and July from the Friends and Family Test – a short patient survey – had very positive comments about services at the practice, with 89% of people saying they would recommend us to their friends and family.’

The chairman of Blackmore Vale Partnership’s Patient Participation Group (PPG), Ian Gall, said: ‘As a PPG we were disappointed to learn of patient survey results, however we recognise all the work the practice has already done to improve. The full complement of clinical and admin staff has increased the availability of appointments, and the telephone system is now working well, meaning patient access has greatly improved.

‘We are confident that the results of the survey are being taken seriously by the practice, and we will continue to work with staff and patients to further improve services and patient experience.’

Find more details from the GP Survey here.

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