Improvements to waiting area helps people feel the difference at physio service

Virgin Care’s North Hampshire Physiotherapy and Podiatry Service has been helping people who use the service feel the difference by making improvements to the waiting area and how they check in for appointments.

The service, which sees patients with musculoskeletal problems that would benefit from physiotherapy treatment, advice and exercise or podiatry interventions across North Hampshire, used feedback to focus their Feel the Difference Goal – objectives set across Virgin Care to achieve better patient experience – on improving the reception and waiting areas.

Earlier this year, the service introduced a team photo board to let people put a face to a name, be that the clinician who is treating them or the receptionist taking details over the telephone or the service manager should they have any other questions, concerns or feedback.

Meet the team wallPhotos of each member of the team were taken and displayed in reception, on a new board entitled “meet the team” (pictured left).  Health-related information on topics such as healthy eating, smoking cessation and diabetes which is beneficial to people waiting has also been put up, with material updated regularly.

To further improve the service, the team applied to Virgin Care’s Feel the Difference Fund – money the company invests each year in improving services through small changes led or suggested by frontline teams – and was successful to introduce an automated check in screen for patients to help prevent them from waiting in queues.

Previously, it could often take time to be booking follow up appointments with patients who are leaving the clinic and those patients who are simply checking in are delayed in queues sometimes making them a few minutes late for their appointment.

With the new technology now in place, people using the service are feeling the difference as a result of seeing a reduction in queuing time.

Emma Anton-Read, Service Manager at North Hampshire Physiotherapy and Podiatry Service, said: “Feedback from patients and colleagues has told us that the new technology has helped to speed things up at reception and we’ve noticed that all our patients now refer to the photo board to see who their clinician is prior to treatment.

“It’s making it easier for them to give any specific feedback in relation to colleagues and check in easier for their appointment but also is helping us to continue to make changes or improvements directly from feedback. Since making the changes in the waiting area, we’ve had nothing but praise about it.”

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