The best and worst GP surgeries in Croydon according to patients

The best and worst GP surgeries in Croydon according to patients
  1. The best and worst GP surgeries in Croydon according to patients
    The best and worst GP surgeries in Croydon according to their patients have been revealed.Results from the NHS's GP Patient Survey, which asks patients to rate their experience when visiting a doctor or nurse, have been released.The survey ranks surgeries on seven different factors. These include how easy it is to get an appointment, surgery waiting times, how long patients get with their GP and whether they feel their doctor listens to them.In Croydon, among the surgeries to achieve…

The best and worst GP surgeries in Croydon according to their patients have been revealed.

Results from the NHS's GP Patient Survey, which asks patients to rate their experience when visiting a doctor or nurse, have been released.

The survey ranks surgeries on seven different factors. These include how easy it is to get an appointment, surgery waiting times, how long patients get with their GP and whether they feel their doctor listens to them.

In Croydon, among the surgeries to achieve high rankings nationally were Sanderstead's Mitchley Avenue Surgery and Mersham Medical Centre, in Thornton Heath, which ranked 220th and 420th respectively.

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The 57 surgeries in Croydon are split by NHS Croydon Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) into six different clinical networks under the banners of Mayday, Thornton Heath, Woodside/Shirley, East Croydon, Purley and New Addington/Selsdon.

Surgeries in Purley have the highest averaging ranking, taking five of the top 10 places in Croydon.

And while Mitchley Avenue Surgery and Mersham Medical Centre were the top two performers in the borough, Downland Surgery, in Tollers Lane, Old Coulsdon, achieved the highest scores in four of the categories including 99 per cent of its patients stating that making an appointment was a good experience. Only 72 per cent of patients at Downland stated they "definitely" had confidence in their GP, however.

We spoke to staff at two of the best rated surgeries and the worst rated. Here's what they had to say.

Mitchley Avenue Surgery

With a score above 95% in five of the seven categories, the Sanderstead-based practice is the only one in the borough to break into the top 250 across England.

Smaller practices in Croydon seem to be among the best performers and Mitchley Avenue is an intimate practice with just two partner GPs and a patient list of 3,700.

Dr Simon Woolf, who has been at the practice for about 30 years, is the senior partner alongside Dr Karthikesan "Kay" Vaithilingam with the practice also employing full-time nurse Caroline Bridgeman.

Meryl Doherty, the practice manager, said: "If people need to be seen on the day, then they will be seen. There is no case of come back tomorrow, we always work on a come in and we will see you. That makes a difference.

"We have a comment box in the surgery and in three years I can only think of one or two negative ones and we like to receive lovely comments, that's what we aim for."

The practice is unusual in not having a current patient participation group (PPG) but 95 per cent of patients felt that their GP listened to them.

Mrs Doherty, 51, added: "We interact a lot with the patients so if there is an issue they can come straight to us. Our ethos comes from Dr Woolf's [ethos] of putting the patients first and that is crucial as we offer more personalised services than ever before.

"I think primary care has increased in demand and complexity while there is an awful lot more paperwork, so it's very nice to hear when we are doing well."

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Mersham Medical Centre

Serving more than 4,000 patients, the Mersham practice in Thornton Heath received a score of 99 per cent in two categories.

Patients thought their GP at the Norbury Road-site gave them enough time and it got the best score out of any surgery in Croydon when it came to listening to patients.

Situated in an end-of-terrace house, the surgery only has two partners, Dr Nana Oppong and Dr Sobana Anandarajah, with one full-time and one part-time nurse.

Dr Anandarajah, 36, said: "It's the fact that there are only two of us and you always see people regularly, know them and don't need things to be repeatedly explained that makes a big difference.

"We have also listened to our patients and we extend our hours on Mondays until 8.30pm as that was patients' preferred option. Both of us are here every day and patients can usually choose who they want to see and we work every week with local pharmacies as there are a few around us."

The surgery has been trialling a new system of not having appointments booked too far in advance after getting a high number of patients not turn up.

The site itself was refurbished just over a year ago.

Dr Anandarajah added: "We have been trying hard with a different appointment system but it's hard to have a balance between advanced bookings and those on the same day.

"We have changed it recently where you can only book three days in advance and that seems to be better. I thought we were doing average but it's nice to hear we are doing well as you put a lot of effort in."

Patient Shakeel Cockar, 57, from South Norwood Hill, is among those who are grateful for the surgery's work.

He said: "I've been a patient for over 20 years and the key with them is that they treat you like human beings rather than a number. I know they have been looking at getting bigger premises as they are so busy it feels that they have outgrown the current one.

"But when you think of how good they are and what they do, they could do so much more if they had the clinical space to do it."

Brigstock Family Practice

The Brigstock Road practice, which has been headed up by the Vajpeyi family for 30 years, got the worst overall score in Croydon this year.

Just 29 per cent of patients stated that they "definitely" had confidence in their GP while only 34 per cent were satisfied with waiting times.

Managing director Christian Lyons stated that the practice's overall rating of "good" in its recent CQC (Care Quality Commission) report demonstrates that it has a "fantastic team".

Mr Lyons said: "The feedback the report provides is invaluable and we will seek to improve things in the areas that have been highlighted. It's interesting to note that one of the areas we've been focusing significant attention on for the past 18 months, namely the recruitment of a new permanent GP to reduce our reliance on locum doctors, is having the greatest impact."

Only three other practices in Croydon received a score lower than 30 per cent in any category across the survey, which were Leander Road Surgery, London Road Medical Practice and Portland Medical Centre.

Brigstock did receive more positive responses in some categories, with 68 per cent of all its patients judging that their GP listened to them and 67 per cent saying that their GP gave them enough time.

The team at the practice is made up of three partner GPs, headed up by Dr Nilu Vajpeyi and three practice nurses.

Mr Lyons added: "[Looking for a new GP] is something we will continue to work on until resolved. Although the backdrop to this issue is compounded by the national shortages of GPs and therefore the filling of GP vacancies [is difficult]. Once in post this should enable more patients to see or speak to the GP of their choice.

"The team at the surgery are dedicated to providing the best possible service to our patients. It's a fantastic team who are extremely forward thinking and always looking to improve the service they provide."

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The GP surgeries in the Croydon CCG area, ordered by their national ranking

Position Practice name Croydon CCG network: Overall national ranking: Percentage of patients who rated their overall experience as good:
2 MERSHAM MEDICAL CENTRE Thornton Heath 420 93.79%
3 DOWNLAND SURGERY Purley 849 97.04%
4 STOVELL HOUSE SURGERY Woodside/Shirley 1178 95.52%
5 THE FARLEY ROAD MEDICAL PRACTICE New Addington/Selsdon 1183 94.38%
8 SELSDON PARK MEDICAL PRACTICE New Addington/Selsdon 1506 93.19%
9 BRAMLEY AVENUE SURGERY Purley 1595 86.78%
10 SELHURST MEDICAL PRACTICE East Croydon 1812 92.13%
11 AUCKLAND SURGERY Thornton Heath 1911 94.14%
12 PARKSIDE GROUP PRACTICE Purley 2427 88.53%
13 QUEENHILL MEDICAL PRACTICE New Addington/Selsdon 2429 92.61%
14 HARTLAND WAY SURGERY Woodside/Shirley 2616 90.18%
16 ASHBURTON PARK MEDICAL CENTRE Woodside/Shirley 3047 88.57%
17 FRIENDS ROAD MEDICAL PRACTICE East Croydon 3132 88.37%
18 PARKWAY HEALTH CENTRE (02) New Addington/Selsdon 3542 93.25%

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