THE OUTCRY over a plan to move a GP surgery in Hattersley was given as a reason why the form of the GP Patients Survey needs changing.
Currently, paper copies are sent out to a small sample of patients at each surgery – with as few as seven or eight people responding.
But the reaction to an idea to move Hattersley Group Practice from its current Hattersley Road East base was given as an example of people caring about the GPs.
Despite the low take up, though, Jessica Williams, director of commissioning at Tameside and Glossop Clinical Commissioning Group said the message came through loud and clear.
She said: “Sample sizes relatively small, as small as seven or eight, but what you can take are some clear messages from it.
“I take this as an indicator. This tells me we’ve got a problem in terms of access.
“But the quality of care issues I don’t think come across through the survey and I think the vast majority of our practices when you get through the door, you get good care.
“When you look at somewhere like Hattersley for example, they had a very small number of people who responded.
“Yet when we went and had a conversation about whether or not we could potentially move the practice over the other side of the road, we had huge amounts of people responding to that as it’s something they felt very passionate about.
“To be brutally honest, this survey is a bit dry and the way it’s done is a bit dry.
“We need to increase take up of people responding, we probably need to try and make it a bit more locally focused and we should be asking Health watch and our patient groups about what they’d like to feed back on, rather than asking them, ‘What’s your experience of services when GPs are closed?’
“It’s not really talking to people. They’d fill it in if they felt it was important. The survey’s only available for people registered in a particular practice and they’re paper and its multiple choice.
Those are sent out to a small sample of each practice.”
At a meeting of Tameside Council’s Integrate Care and Wellbeing scrutiny Panel, Councillor Eleanor Wills said she believes other hospitals have ways of getting a larger response.
She said: “When I’ve done surveys at Manchester Royal Infirmary, it’s on an iPad and it’s while you were having your appointment, so that might be something to look at if there’s an ability to change the mechanism of the survey.”