You said, we did

This section is dedicated to information about how your feedback and comments are shaping services. Barnet CCG welcomes feedback and has a process in place for patients and the public to raise queries, concerns, complaints and compliments.  This is outlined on the comments, complaints and compliments page.  

Barnet CCG is committed to responding to queries, concerns and complaints within 25 days and as standard we include information regarding any actions being taken in response to feedback. Examples of recent actions shared with patients and the public are outlined below.

Improving patient appointment letters

As part of an ongoing initiative to put patients and the public at the heart of decision making by learning from their experiences, a member of the public was invited to discuss their experiences accessing cardiology outpatient services at a large provider for which the CCG commissions services. The patient’s appointment had twice been cancelled for reasons unknown; with separate letters needing to be sent to confirm the new appointments, one of which was never received. As a result of cancelled appointments, the patient spent a considerable amount of time in discomfort. The patient felt that their negative experience could have been improved if the cancellation letter also included the details of the rearranged appointment. Healthwatch confirmed that they had received similar complaints about the referral process. The CCG worked closely with the provider and a patient representative over summer 2019 to find a solution to the problem with the letters. Although the provider’s system is unable to generate a single letter with the cancellation and new appointment details, a more patient-friendly cancellation letter is now automatically generated when patient’s re-book their appointments which is followed up with a new appointment confirmation letter. The provider is also exploring the implementation of a policy whereby the first member of staff with whom a patient had contact would be considered the ‘owner’ of the patient’s enquiry, and would see it through to resolution. This would support patients through the uncertainty which can arise when appointments are cancelled.

Supporting non-english speaking patients when they visit their GP

In June 2019, Healthwatch Barnet investigated GP interpreting services. As part of their fact-finding, they engaged with 59 patients through three community groups, Barnet Refugee Service, Somali Women’s Group and Farsophone Counselling Service. Patients were asked about their awareness and experience of interpreting services. Healthwatch also engaged with GPs and practice staff, community organisations and looked at practice websites. The findings showed that overall, general awareness of interpreting services for GP appointments was poor. As a result of the recommendations made to the CCG in Healthwatch Barnet’s report, the CCG has identified the top 13 languages spoken in Barnet and produced two posters for GP practices; one reminding patients that they can have a chaperone during their consultation and the other giving a reminder that patients are entitled to an interpreter during their appointments. Barnet CCG has also promoted the commissioned interpreting service to practices to ensure that staff are aware of it, provided information for their websites, made sure that practice websites have a “translate this page” function and regularly monitors the usage of interpreting services.   

Improving phlebotomy (blood testing) services

Following an increase in complaints about access to phlebotomy services we informed patients that we would undertake a review of the blood testing services to ensure equitable access and reduced waiting times.  This work is currently in progress.

Young people's mental health services

In response to concerns raised regarding young people’s mental health support, Barnet CCG provided a detailed overview of the transformation plan and a link to full details which were published on our website. We also invited further feedback to inform the plans going forward. This document includes a summary of engagement activities related to children and young people which have impacted on commissioning decisions.

More than 100 children and young people from across the borough gathered in February 2017 to voice their views during Barnet’s ‘Youthorium’. Participants from the borough’s schools, colleges, youth groups and charities took part, voicing their opinions on a range of topics from young people’s emotional wellbeing, to youth services and the best ways for young people’s voices to be heard. There was also a ‘voxpop booth’ to capture participants’ views on video. Feedback at the Youthorium event led to the development and commissioning of online support (Kooth) and to improving emotional wellbeing support in schools (Resilient Schools programme). Barnet’s Parent Carer Forum and young people with SEND were involved in commissioning such as our Integrated Therapies Service in 2018 and recommissioning of short breaks. There are ambitions to develop mechanisms for parents and families to be able to involve in monitoring of provision. 

Referral Management Service

Prior to the launch of the new enhanced Referral Management Service, a quality impact assessment was performed and a thorough engagement process was undertaken to review the impact of those involved and affected in this service. Barnet CCG engaged with local stakeholder groups including Healthwatch, local GP representative groups, local practice managers and patient feedback was acquired via a survey. Furthermore, two patients represented the patient voice throughout the service design and evaluation process for the Referral Management Service.

Dermatology waiting times

In response to concerns raised about dermatology service waiting times the CCG shared the following actions:

  • Extension of innovative ‘tele-dermatology’ service using technology and early advice and treatment from dermatologists. This should enable more patients to receive expert advice and treatment from dermatology clinicians early in their care pathway and should enable more patients to be managed effectively outside of the face-to-face hospital setting. This should also therefore help to reduce waiting times overall, improve access to clinical advice and treatment and provide a more efficient dermatology service for patients.
  • Review of triage process for dermatology: reviewing criteria for referral to community service to ensure this is appropriate and to see if any patients could be seen appropriately and effectively elsewhere (for example, a hospital based dermatology service if required) to free up capacity and reduce waiting times in community clinic.