Category: 7.2. Why and how to create a website
The College Surgery Partnership in Devon serves around 14,000 patients. Many live in rural communities over an area of 100 square miles, and its ten doctors operate over four sites.
The partnership set up its own website in 2004, on the lookout for ways to:
The website (www.collegesurgery.org.uk) displays basic information, from surgery hours to site locations. It also updates patients on health campaigns and upcoming talks held at the practices. It’s enhanced by photographs of the doctors and of the practice premises.
In addition, the website serves as the gateway to the partnership’s online facilities, including appointment booking and repeat prescription services. The practice’s Patient Support Group can also upload information to the site.
The website is well used and well liked by patients, who often point out when something is out of date. Statistics show that the website got 1,542 hits on one day in May 2009, and the practice gets hundreds of repeat prescription requests through the site every week.
The website was built by the partnership’s IT Manager, Nick Bunn, with the help of an external supplier, and it took about a month
to get off the ground.
The external supplier was initially paid £1,000. The website costs another couple of thousand pounds a year to maintain, split between the external supplier and the time Nick spends on maintenance. (He says he works on the site monthly.)
‘Some of our patients can’t always come to the practice, so it’s great to be able to communicate with them electronically. The website makes it easy for them to access information about us,’ says Wendy Evans, the partnership’s Strategic Manager.
Andy Barrett, chair of the Patient Support Group, says the website is clear and simple to use, although he notes that many of the practice’s patients – mostly the older generation – do not use it.
‘It provides useful content on who is who at the surgery, opening hours, and the various ways that you can get treatment. The repeat prescription service is very useful, as well as easy to use – I’m a regular!’ Andy says.
Wendy Evans, 01884 831301