AT a time when GPs are being catapulted into the very heart of the NHS and given ever more responsibilities and influence, it is worrying to learn that satisfaction with the service they provide has slipped below the national average. In particular patients are unhappy with the difficulty they can experience in making an appointment to see a doctor.
This is something most have experienced and it leaves many feeling confused and frustrated.
The system for making appointments can be hide-bound and difficult to negotiate, particularly at busy times of the year.
We are told that many practices have implemented improvements since a report was prepared by the Sheffield Local Involvement Network, which highlights the lower than average satisfaction with making appointments.
That’s good. If GPs are to be expected to take a more important role in the National Health Service, they need to show that they can accommodate patients’ needs on their doorstep first.
Reminder to all in service industries
JULIE Blackley is to be congratulated for pursuing her claim against a bus company after a driver slammed the doors in her face.
He may have thought she was an awkward customer but in fact she is profoundly deaf and deserves both understanding and common courtesy. She got neither and it has cost the bus firm £1,000 in compensation.
But Julie has much more than money. She has been given the assurance that she is entitled to be treated with respect.
We hope that this acts as a reminder to all in the service industries that they have a duty to customers, particularly those with a disability.
And they really ought to thank Julie Blackley for her stance which gives them all a timely reminder. She has shown that the customer must be afforded the status he or she deserves - as the reason an enterprise is in business in the first place.
Work to benefit all
A HUGE swathe of moorland on Sheffield’s doorstep is to be managed by the National Trust and Royal Society for the Protection of Birds. These are two organisations which command great respect and trust from the public. And we are pleased this is matched with a pledge that their work will ensure continued access to prized areas of the Peak District at the same time as they will work towards restoring the habitat for wildlife. The 27 square kilometres which are involved are important areas for both people and wildlife and it is encouraging to see the intention to manage them for the benefit of all.