Nursing teams key to patient satisfaction

All practices should build-up extensive nursing teams to increase their rates of patient satisfaction according to a government report on access to primary care.

The report, written by primary care tsar Dr David Colin-Thome, investigated shared characteristics amongst practices that scored highly on the most recent patient satisfaction survey.

Most were found to have nursing teams that included practice nurses, nurse practitioners, healthcare assistants, dual role administrative and support staff and other healthcare workers such as counsellors. Such teams were both more responsive to patients and cost effective, the report claimed.

Other common factors amongst high scoring practices included extended opening hours, a positive approach to new models of care, development of talent and innovation and strong leadership.

Another government-backed report looking at low satisfaction rates with practices amongst black and minority ethnic (BME) patients recommended better communication, more flexibility both in booking appointments and in length of consultation and receptionists trained to take on the role of patient navigators.

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