The Malthouse Surgery is aware of the impact Social Media has had on the ability of people to provide an instant opinion easily to a wide audience locally. We regularly see comments made by our patients on various social media forums, however, we receive feedback from a whole range of sources during the year. These include individual thank you letters or complaints and results from large surveys involving hundreds of our patients who have used our services. We listen to all feedback and where constructive look constantly to improve the service we provide. The receptionist’s role is a tough one because it’s virtually impossible to please all of the people all of the time, however, we know from the feedback we receive they are providing a good service.

The receptionists do not have a magic button to deliver what is not available no matter how frustrating this may be to you, believe me it is usually just as frustrating to the receptionists. The receptionists at the Malthouse deal with over 100,000 telephone calls each year and we have 2,000 to 3,000 patients passing through the Surgery each week. As in all walks of life the more courteous you are, the friendlier receptionists will be but it’s fact that they have to deal with some patients who do not always act in a reasonable manner. The practice fully supports the NHS Zero Tolerance and we ask you to treat receptionists courteously and act reasonably. When people are rude we do encourage a less combative approach from our staff and provide receptionist training to help with this, staff also have regular performance reviews.

There is a wide variety of appointment types available and different clinicians at the Malthouse. When you make an appointment by telephone you will be asked by the receptionist to give a brief idea of the reason for the consultation. This is to ensure that you are seen as soon as you need to be by the correct clinician who is ready and able to help you. It may be if you have a “minor illness” our nurse Practitioner will be able to deal with you, if it is a medication issue perhaps our Clinical Pharmacist can help, if it is a muscular skeletal problem our Physiotherapist could be the right person to see or perhaps it could be our Social Prescriber, signposting you to available support services, all saving a doctor’s appointment for someone who needs their particular skills.   If you don’t wish to disclose the reason for your requested visit you are not obliged to but please don’t insist on an appointment “that day” if the need isn’t urgent.

In conclusion you could be forgiven when reading a dozen reviews on social media or blogs that the service provided by the Malthouse receptionists is not good. We accept we will never be as good as we can be (no one should ever accept they cannot improve) and continue to work with the staff daily to improve performance, however, in the context of the over 200,000 contacts a year our reception staff have with patients the really good feedback we get far outweighs the negative and this is something we can all feel positive about.

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