CCG Mystery Shoppers

Text size:

Mystery Shopper feedback and update session December 2019

All mystery shoppers were invited to attend an update session as the research on GP practices had been running for twelve months. This was an opportunity for the CCG to give a progress update on the research and for the mystery shoppers to give the CCG their views/experiences.

During the twelve months, mystery shoppers had conducted research on the GP out-of-hours messages and contacted GP practices on a quarterly basis to conduct research on the access standard of the Primary Care Commissioning Framework.

Mystery shoppers were advised that following the research, that access had improved in some areas for example access to a female GP or nurse and the GP out of ours messages had improved since sending a suggested script to GP practices to use.

During the update session Mystery Shoppers received updates from both the Engagement and Primary Care Contracting teams on results and action taken following the research. A new research form was introduced for feedback from the mystery shoppers for comments before this will be used in January.  Mystery shoppers asked for this to be available electronically and paper-based for 2020.

Mystery shoppers were also asked for their top tips to share with other mystery shoppers and what went well or not so well to learn lessons for the next year. These Notes and slides were then distributed to all Mystery Shoppers.

The Primary Care Contracts Manager provided an update on the process undertaken following receipt of the mystery shopping reports. If any GP practice continually fails to meet the requirements of the access standard, this will be considered at the Primary Care Commissioning Framework Monitoring Group to determine what action is to be taken.


Mystery Shoppers check GP out of hours telephone messages – February and follow-up May 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. This was to ensure these messages were giving the correct out-of-hours provider and the messages were clear for patients

Eight mystery shoppers carried out this research. Some of the findings included; messages out of date, confusing information and some telephones just ringing out.

Following this research in February, the CCG published suggested scripts for GP practices to use when recording their out of hours telephone messages for patients through the GP Members Newsletter.


Mystery Shopper Recruitment

We had a tremendous response to our recruitment campaign in November 2019 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 June 2019. 

Mystery Shopper Training December 2018 cropped

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.

mystery shopper

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 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 2020.

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.

Contact the Engagement Team for further information:

Telephone: 0121 612 1447            Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.