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Thursday 29 September 2016
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Can practice patients get no satisfaction?

Our secret practice manager continues her regular account of the goings-on in her surgery ...

Well, we are now into the summer silly season – and have even seen the emergence of some summer weather!

I was disappointed, but not surprised, when the patient satisfaction results were finally released, to see the focus from on high on the small percentage that were dissatisfied, rather than any praise for the high figures achieved by most.

I venture to put forward that most organisations would be very pleased with the generally high level of satisfaction. Of course, there is always room for improvement and I'm sure most of us had already digested our figures and have given some thought as to how to improve them.

The problem always seems to be that as you give a better service, the expectation gets higher and higher; I certainly feel that we are now trapped in a never-ending circle! What do you think? Are we simply making a rod for our own backs and setting ourselves up to fail future surveys, or are we really making a difference to care?

In the bag
The date was set for this week to have a "Black Friday" in the practice. No, not a huge cloud of depression – rather, piles of black bags! Practices (or ours at least) seem to be great places for hoarding ("well. it might come in useful") and generally keeping paperwork far beyond the necessary and/or legal time limits.

Most of the staff have joined in with gusto, and we have spent a very dusty, dirty day (typically the sun decided to shine and it has proved very warm work), producing a mountain of black bags, all due for collection and disposal by a company specialising in the disposal of confidential waste.

We have recovered a huge supply of folders, ring binders and plastic wallets – enough to cut the stationery bill substantially, I hope!

A good day's work by all, and such a pleasure to be able to see real production from the day's work. How often do you get to the end of the day and wonder what you actually accomplished? Plenty, I am sure, but there often seems to be nothing to show for it – well, there certainly was today!

I'm off now for a refreshing shower and a long, cool drink – here's hoping for a good, sunny weekend ...