Summary of report content
Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees carried out an Enter and View visit to Norton Medical Centre, to gather patient and staff feedback about the service and identify any recommendations that could be made to improve patient experience. This visit was carried out as Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees had received a number of complaints about this service, based on the themes of: staff attitude, difficulty getting an appointment via telephone, and misdiagnosis. The team utilised a questionnaire to gather feedback from patients, family members, carers and staff.
During the Enter and View visit, Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees received an overwhelming amount of positive feedback about Norton Medical Centre. Patients gave lots of praise and positive feedback about all the staff at the practice including reception and medical staff. Patients also felt that the practice was in a good location and easily accessible. The main issues faced by patients were the long queues at reception during times when the phlebotomy clinic was open and difficulty getting through on the phones during busy periods. Patients also reported that it was sometimes difficult to get an appointment, especially for patients who work full time.
Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees identified that 58% of patients who gave their feedback did not use any online services either because they weren’t aware of them being available or could not access them. 82% of patients were unaware of the Norton Medical Practice’s Patient Participation Group (PPG) and 93% did not know what the role of the PPG was.
Staff feedback was very positive with the majority of reception staff giving feedback about how much they enjoyed their jobs and felt they were part of a team also referred to as ‘one big family’. Overall, 78% of patients rated Norton Medical Centre as ‘Excellent’ or ‘Good’.
Based on these findings, Healthwatch Stockton-on-Tees made six recommendations on: promotion of the PPG and online services; improving the appointment booking system; use of the self check-in screen and sufficient staff to cover busy reception periods; providing more toys in the children's play area; and ensuring privacy in the phlebotomy clinic.