We had a tremendous response to our recruitment campaign last November to recruit mystery shoppers with over 300 people applying for the roles. Following a shortlisting process, the CCG successfully recruited 40 mystery shoppers.
The first cohort of mystery shoppers were trained early in December 2018 with the second cohort of mystery shoppers trained in March 2019.
Following the first training session mystery shoppers were eager to get started. The first research exercise took place later in December with mystery shoppers contacting GP practices.
These checks are to ensure that GP practices are delivering on Standard One of the Primary Care Commissioning Framework (PCCF) which is the access standard for GP practices.
Any anomalies identified by mystery shoppers are reported the same day so that an investigation can be undertaken by the Primary Care Contracting team.
You can see some of the actions we have taken following the feedback we received below:
Mystery Shoppers check GP out of hours telephone messages – January 2019
Mystery shoppers were called to action to carry out an urgent exercise to check the content of the answering machine messages of GP practices. Reports had been made that some of the telephone messages were out of date.
Eight mystery shoppers carried out this research. Some of the findings included; messages out of date, confusing information and some telephones just ringing out.
After the valuable insight, the CCG has published suggested scripts for GP practices to use when recording their out of hours telephone messages for patients.
Mystery Shoppers research – February 2019
Another research exercise took place mid-February again to check that GP practices are delivering on Standard One of the PCCF.
Any mystery shopper alerts will be action by the Primary Care team by contacting the GP practice concerned.
A report of all the mystery shopper research is also taken to the Primary Care Commissioning Framework monitoring group for discussion.
What is a CCG Mystery Shopper?
CCG Mystery Shoppers is a new initiative to recruit local people (who live and are Registered with a GP in the Sandwell and West Birmingham area) by volunteering to help check the quality of NHS healthcare services.
A mystery shopper is a person who carries out a type of research to ensure patients are receiving the best quality service.
This could be telephoning a GP practice, checking information on an NHS website or visiting an NHS building for example.
If you are attending your own GP practice, health centre or hospital, we would also like to hear from you about your experiences of your visit.
If you are interested and have some spare time, why not read the Mystery Shopper leaflet for further details.
How do I apply?
Recruitment for Mystery Shoppers is now closed as we have had fantastic response to our recruitment campaign in November 2018. We may re-advertise for CCG Mystery Shoppers again later in 2019.
You will need to live in the Sandwell and West Birmingham CCG area as you may be required to visit some of our NHS premises.
Will I get expenses?
The CCG will give mystery shoppers who submit their feedback to the CCG thank you High Street shopping vouchers.
Should you be asked to visit NHS premises, you will be able to claim public transport, car mileage and car parking expenses from the CCG.