Simple changes and feedback can improve relationships with patients, says Dr Judith Harvey
The NHS’s patient and public involvement scheme is about doctor and patient partnership. Sustainable patient involvement cannot be one sided and practices should aim to improve procedures that are a problem for both patients and staff. Acknowledging a shared problem and a shared frustration goes a long way towards making everyone feel better.
You can start with your own consultation. When you call a patient you do not know from the waiting room, try to introduce yourself. Similarly, if you are overrunning, a good idea might be to go to the waiting room and explain to the waiting patients that you are running, for example, 35 minutes late. Not only will the patients appreciate your action, but it will also take the strain off you and the receptionists will be grateful too.