PATIENTS at two medical practices in Hartlepool can now see with their own eyes the high standard of service they will be getting.
NHS primary care services provider IntraHealth has been praised by NHS bosses for acting on what patients tell them they want.
Patients at the medical centres in Wynyard Road and at Hartfields have had a massive input into the initiative.
Over the last few months, the reception teams have worked with Elizabeth Carroll, IntraHealth’s patient and community liaison officer to produce a set of service standards for the reception.
She said: “Patients can expect a high quality standard of service delivered by professional staff who will treat them politely, fairly and sensitively.
“We have compiled these service standards as part of IntraHealth’s commitment to continually improving services.
“By knowing what level of service you can expect you can see when we don’t meet these standards.
“If this happens we want patients to tell us so we can put things right and learn from our mistakes.
“We want patients to tell us if they are unhappy with the service they receive and tell us if the service is better than they expected.”
IntraHealth’s patient participation group was consulted before the service standards were finalised and they will be included in annual reviews of them.
Brian Bailey, of the participation group, said: “I am really interested in service standards.
“One philosopher said that if you want people to uphold standards they need to set them for themselves and then it is more or less guaranteed they will deliver. This is exactly the process that the reception team has followed.
“The patient participation group was very pleased to be included in the setting of these standards”.
The service standards were launched this week by Mr Bailey and Leo Gillen, a non-executive director with NHS Hartlepool.
NHS Hartlepool chairman Steve Wallace said: “I am really pleased to see these local GP practices making the quality of their reception service a top priority.
“Getting good advice and timely appointments, with helpful staff, is what all patients want and deserve, but sometimes don’t receive.
“By consulting with and listening to their patients and acting on what their patients say, IntraHealth is playing an important part in driving up standards across the board, which is exactly what I want to see.”