"Outstanding podiatry service"

About: Bromley Healthcare / Podiatry

(as the patient),

I was recently treated by Carol at Bromley Healthcare who provided outstanding, competent and conscientious podiatry care. Some of their podiatrists I had seen previously had been good, some excellent but always with the same result that I would return to having a very painful foot very quickly, greatly hindering the exercise I need to manage my disabilities.

Carol has been innovative in her treatment. The first to design an inner sole which relieved pressure all around the affected area. She is also an excellent communicator and has explained the cause of the problems and the treatment in a clearly understandable way.

However, I am always concerned to read in receptions the last month's Did Not Attend figures and the cost of that. To my mind, an even greater cost is the pain and incapacity that it causes people who needlessly cannot receive treatment. It would be good to know what is being done to reduce this waste.

Obviously other services are sending text reminders. Even my GP and dentist do that. Reminders will not always work. I remember gladly accepting an invitation at an hours notice to have an MRI scan I was waiting for - England were playing football that day and many of the patients with prior appointments had phoned to cancel at the last minute or just did not turn up! But it would help those who had genuinely forgotten.

Also I do think that feedback booklets should ask for: Comments, compliments, concerns, complaints. I think starting by asking for complaints is very negative and no doubt demoralising for staff. A suggestion box would help. There should also be far more literature in the reception areas for self help.

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Responses

Response from Julie Miller, Quality Manager, Bromley Healthcare

Dear Great Appreciation

Thank you so much for taking the time to post your thoughts on Patient Opinion.

I am aware that the Operations Manager who takes care of the Podiatry service has responded to you by email a day or two ago, but I feel that it is useful to share the response with other service users who may be interested.

Your compliments are most welcome and a great boost to staff morale and they have of course been shared with Carol.

You also commented on the DNA rate which historically has been higher in Podiatry than we would have liked. When we interviewed patients to understand why they don't turn up to appointments, they reported that there were two main issues. Firstly. the appointments were not convenient - appointments were selected by the service and issued through the post, and secondly some patients reported difficulties getting through on the phone lines. In response to this patient feedback we changed some of our admin processes.

Now, all patients are telephoned to arrange mutually convenient appointments and are called a day or two before their appointment as a reminder. We are planning to moving to text reminders. In a short space of time, this approach has dramatically reduced DNAs to 6% compared with an average of 16% this time last year. In addition the booking system for Podiatry has been changed which has increased our capacity to receive calls. Both of these approaches seem to have produced immediate results.

Regarding your feedback about the complaints leaflets your comments have been taken on board and the leaflet will be changed at the next print run to incorporate your idea.

Finally, as Merrisha has said in her email to you, we are often seeking patient representatives to participate in giving feedback. If this is something you might be interested in for the future, please let us know and we can add you to our database.

Thank you once again for your time.

With kind regards

Julie

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Update posted by Great Appreciation (the patient)

Thank you very much for your response Julie even though it was mostly directed towards my concern about DNA's rather than how wonderful your service is especially from Carol.

I was trying to put the blame for DNA's where it no doubt mainly deserves to be on those who without consideration of others in considerable podiatric pain just do not turn up on the day because of another priority. However I was delighted to read the DNA figure has been substantially reduced by your new strategy and further that you will be incorporating some of my ideas in the future.

I will contact you about helping in the future and I have some ideas about what you might like to have available to read in your receptions.

In the last few days, thanks to Carol, I have been walking for miles without pain and much more than usual, which has greatly enhanced my quality of life. So I would like to finish with another big THANK YOU CAROL!

Response from Julie Miller, Quality Manager, Bromley Healthcare

Dear Great Appreciation

Wonderful news regarding your ability to walk so much further without pain thanks to the treatment provided by Carol. Really excellent and welcome news both for Carol and for Bromley Healthcare as a whole.

Staff success is celebrated at Bromley Healthcare with monthly team and individual star of the month awards, and there are further presentations made at the Annual Summer Ball.

With regard to your thoughts surrounding possible literature in the reception areas you are most welcome to contact me at the following e mail address:

Julie.miller@bromleyhealthcare-cic.nhs.uk

I look forward to hearing from you in due course.

With Kindest regards

Julie

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