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Patient Satisfaction Survey of GP Lead Specialist Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (CATS) in Urology

Alam A, Phillips D, Smith J, Alam A N.

Recently the Government introduced a GP led initiative aimed at reducing waiting times and thus the burden on the NHS Trusts. The initiative focuses on the introduction of a new service in specialities where more than 60-70 % of the symptoms can be assessed, treated and followed up at a primary healthcare practice led by GPs with specialist interests.
The Elm’s Practice, Harpenden Hertfordshire, lead by Dr Phillips and Dr Smith under the supervision of a consultant from a local Trust, has been able to offer such a service in both Urology and ENT.
A patient satisfaction survey in urology, was recently conducted using the GPAC questionnaire. The Practice is also looking at the cost effectiveness and positive impact of this service on waiting list times in the local NHS Trust Hospitals and this data will be presented at a later stage.


Background: Postal Patient Questionnaires were sent to patients at the practice to analyse and record their responses in regard to the practice’s Urology CATS clinic.
Objective: To assess and evaluate the responses of the patients when answering the questionnaires in order to examine the performance of the Urology CATS clinic.
Design: An independent 13 Question Questionnaire was sent, via post, to over 80 patients of whom 53 responded within 3 weeks.
Results: The areas which were analysed in terms of the Urology CATS performance were: the Appointment Process, the Friendliness of the Staff, Consultation/Assessment

Process, Reporting Process and Location of the Service

100% of the patients were very happy with the ease with which they were able to make a convenient appointment and the efficiency of the staff on reception.
All of the patients were impressed by the friendliness and approachability of the staff, with 80% of the patients awarding the staff with the maximum five star friendliness rating.
Over 90% of the patients were completely satisfied with the consultation and assessment process including the patients’ time with the doctor and the explanation of their condition. Feedback included comments such as …‘Never received such a good service from health professionals.’

Although over 90% of the patients received full feedback on their results as soon as they were available and were offered a rapid follow-up appointment, nevertheless only 39% of the patients received their results within a week. The remainder (61%) of the patients had to wait between 1-4 weeks for their results.
All the patients were able to travel to the practice with relative ease. 79% of patients commented that the practice was very conveniently located . Of the remaining 21% of patients , some had difficulty with reliability or use of public transport but all patients had access to directions through the surgery if needed. However only 10% of patients were provided with directions, without actively requesting.

Conclusion: The patient satisfaction survey of a GP Lead Specialist Clinical Assessment and Treatment Service (CATS) in Urology showed that patients were extremely positive about all major aspects of the assessment and treatment service.
Arguably the most important aspect of the entire service, the consultation and assessment process, received extremely positive feedback from the majority of patients. This was not only a clear endorsement of the effectiveness of the service provided, but also highlighted the professionalism of the medical staff involved.
The appointment process in the Elms Practice Urology CATS clinic is flawless. All patients were entirely satisfied. In addition, the friendliness and accessibility of the staff at the practice greatly enhanced the overall positive experience by all patients assessed, with over 80% giving the practice a five star (top) rating .
Accessibility to the practice was not an issue with the majority of patients. The practice is however making a move to ensure all patients routinely receive travel directions.
The only area of the procedure which needs to be improved upon is the reporting process. Patients often experienced delays in result reporting of up to 4 weeks. The practice is already exploring the possibility of alternative approaches to result reporting and the ensuring of even more effective communication between GP and patients. One such example is the possibility of an online consultation and result reporting process.
The feedback received clearly indicates that the GP led CATS in urology has been very well received by the patients surveyed. The patients were extremely positive about all major aspects of the assessment and treatment service and all initial findings suggest this to be an effective alternative to hospital assessment and treatment.


Copyright Priory Lodge Education Limited 2010

First Published February 2010

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