Patient Participation DES

Step 3 of the Patient Participation DES asks practices to collate patient views through the use of a local survey and to produce valid outcomes.


Your options and their benefits:

  • Use the Improving Practice Questionnaire (IPQ) (see below) *Validated, recognized, benchmarking, easy-to-assimilate report, template action plans*
  • Create Practice specific questions (see below) *Responsive to PRG, formatted, targeted

Support and Guidance:

  • Questionnaire design and development

Using IPQ

The IPQ is a generic questionnaire - it 'fits the bill' for all salient issues for all practices. It was designed to make patients think about every aspect of their 'journey' through the practice from:

  • Opening hours
  • Telephone contact
  • Advanced booking satisfaction
  • Seeing a doctor within 48 hours
  • Seeing doctor of choice
  • Environment of the practice
  • Waiting times
  • Interpersonal skills of clinicians
  • Reception staff
  • Other services provided by the practice e.g. reminder systems

Patient Participation DES These particular items are rated by patients and overall scores and national benchmarks are provided within the resulting report- the IPQ is extensively validated so all data will be statistically robust and valid. Another very useful aspect of the IPQ is information captured in the two written comments, completed subsequently to the rating questions, detailing how the practice or the clinician could improve. At this stage the patient will have considered every aspect of their visit and any issues they may not feel is satisfactory will have been brought to mind e.g. telephone access in the morning, specifics about the appointment system or parking. In this way this generic questionnaire obtains very specific information from the patient. In our experience, if there is a specific problem within the practice that is detrimental to patients' visits then this will be clearly apparent in the comments listed in the report.

As a local survey has to be carried out at least once a year in the period 2011/2012 and 2012/2013 to meet the DES requirements - because the IPQ is sensitive to change, it can pick up any alteration in patient perception of services if any significant changes to the practice have been made.

Although there are few specifics in the DES guidelines, and indicators relating to access are no longer included in the Quality and Outcomes Framework (QOF), it is still expected, however, that 'the quality of access currently provided by the practice in respect of obtaining an appointment within two working days and the ability to book ahead should be maintained unless there is clear evidence to support a change'. These criteria can be measured by the IPQ.

The IPQ package includes:

  • A clear comprehensive easy-to- assimilate report
  • A template to facilitate discussion of the survey information with your patient reference group
  • A template action plan to outline any proposed change
  • A poster illustrating the IPQ results to display in practice to inform patients

Creating Practice Specific Questions

However if you would like to ask practice specific questions relating to areas of interest to you we are offering an additional service alongside the IPQ.

We can provide up to 5 evaluation questions as a separate questionnaire but run at the same time as IPQ (we can't change the IPQ as it is a validated questionnaire).

You would choose the questions but our development team would be able to assist in formatting them into the most useable form.

If you would like to find out more please contact us or send us the questions you would like to use so we can advise how best to proceed.

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