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At the heart of general practice since 1960

What do our patients really think of us?

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I had my end of year review last week. I wasn’t too concerned – I knew that I had the necessary amount of log entries, COTs, DOPs, and CBDs.

But the one thing I was scared about was the patient satisfaction questionnaire (PSQ). For the uninitiated, the PSQ involves handing every patient who consults with me a questionnaire allowing them the opportunity to sing my praises – or slag me off as they feel appropriate. A minimum of 40 completed questionnaires are needed before the results are collated and conclusions drawn. These are submitted by a third party to our e-portfolio.

To add to the tension my supervisor sent me out of the room so she could read through the results before me after she clicked the magic ‘reveal’ button – apparently this was so that, if they were awful, she could gently build up to breaking the news to me.

Thank goodness the results were reassuring. But for a minute there I was genuinely terrified – what if my patients did think I was awful?

My end of year review fell on the day of industrial action (or 'strike' as the media kept calling it), which led me to ask myself what the public thinks of us as a profession. I hope they don’t believe the messages put about by the Daily Mail and its kind – that we are greedy, arrogant and uncaring.

There is certainly a lot of doctor-bashing out there currently – fingers crossed that my patients are astute enough to believe what they see of us with their own eyes, rather than the media tripe.

Julie Fry is a GPST2 in Cheltenham

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