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ENT Kent Partnership: How we try to be among the best private medical practices in the UK

Mrs Sylvia A Fairley Dip Nurs (Lond) Practice Manager
Mrs Sylvia A Fairley Dip Nurs (London)
Practice Manager

Mr James W Fairley BSc MBBS FRCS MS (London) Consultant ENT Surgeon
Mr James W Fairley BSc MBBS FRCS MS (London)
Consultant Ear Nose and Throat Surgeon

As a private patient, you should be treated by one of the best private specialist medical practices in the UK. We try to achieve this

We treat our patients as we would like ourselves or members of our family to be treated.

The whole patient experience

Seeing a really good doctor is only part of the package. The nursing support and back-office administration is also very important. We invest a lot of time and effort in our administrative systems, especially medical records and communication with patients. Our aim is to make the whole patient experience, from booking your appointment to paying your bill, as efficient and hassle free as possible, never forgetting the human touch.

Before your consultation

Getting it right from the beginning: Making sure we are the right specialist for you

We will phone you to check your medical history, and make sure we are the right specialist for your problem. Mrs Fairley will advise you whether any special tests or examinations are likely, and what they will entail. She can give you an estimate of costs and fees, and may be able to offer some specialist ENT Nursing advice before your appointment.

Choice of convenient times and hospital clinics

We will offer you a choice of convenient appointment times and private hospital clinics, often the same week, and rarely more than two weeks.

During the clinic consultation

Digital voice recorder dictation of medical findings

The fundamental basis of good medical communication is face to face talking, including body language, in the consulting room. But we also need to make a written record of

  • What was said (the History)
  • What was found (the Examination)
  • What was done (the Special Investigations and Treatment)
  • What we plan on doing next (the Management Plan)

The old way of doing this is hand written notes at the time. Then, because doctors’ scribbles are notoriously difficult for anyone else to read, use those notes to dictate a formal report to the GP, on a dictation tape. The tape is transcribed by a medical secretary using audio typist equipment. The typing would be done some time after the end of the clinic, often several days later. We have improved the efficiency of the process by eliminating several steps:

  1. Mr Fairley has virtually given up writing notes by hand (other than the occasional diagram).
  2. Instead, he uses the latest hand held digital dictation technology to produce a voice recording of your clinical details, right there and then in the out-patient consultation room.
  3. The digital dictation is then sent electronically to the medical secretary for immediate typing.

The Consultant does this in front of you, so you know what has been said and what will go into your records. Mr Fairley records your clinical history, his examination findings, and the results of any out-patient tests and procedures done at the time. He records a diagnosis (which may be provisional), and a plan for management and treatment of your condition. This is done immediately, in real time, before you leave the consulting room.

Getting it right: An accurate record of your clinical history

Your clinical history is our summary of what you, the patient or parent, told us. Clearly, this has its potential pitfalls.

  • We know that one person, however experienced and professional, may not always accurately summarize what another has said.
  • We know it can be stressful seeing a consultant specialist.
  • We know you don’t always take in everything that is said by the doctor.
  • We know you might not remember everything you meant to say.

So, having listened carefully to your story, and asked any questions we have, we start dictating the notes to the consultation. These will form your medical records. We talk to the machine in front of you, there and then.

Watching for your reaction, have we got the facts right?

While dictating, Mr Fairley carefully watches your facial expression for any reaction. If you even half raise an eyebrow, if there is a flicker of puzzlement, or any hint we’ve got the wrong end of the stick, Mr Fairley will go back over that point. If what he thought you said wasn’t what you meant to say, that is how he will find out. He will then change what he says, because we don’t want incorrect information in your medical records. We believe this method is much better than hand written notes, because the patient is given an opportunity to verify the history and correct any mistake before it becomes part of the medical records.

Oh, and that reminds me …

Sometimes, hearing the doctor’s words spoken back to you will trigger something you forgot to mention. That is great, that is part of the reason we do it that way. We want all the relevant details. We don’t expect you to necessarily remember them all at once.

Just one last thing, doctor … little things can make a big difference

Sometimes, that last little thing you just remembered changes everything that went before. We might have to consider a different diagnosis, or completely re-think our treatment plans. And we allow enough time to do this properly, and answer any questions you may have there and then. The answers to your questions are also included in the dictation, so you will have a written reminder of it later.

After your consultation

Getting it typed quickly: Electronic transfer of sound file

As soon as Mr Fairley is happy that the dictation he has made is a proper record of your consultation, he will upload the sound file from his hand held machine, using a secure internet connection to our office computer in Ashford. Mrs Fairley or our secretary will then play it back. She will make arrangements for any further tests requested (such as CT or MRI scans, hospital admission forms) and type the report. The report will normally take the form of a letter to your GP. A copy of this letter will automatically be sent to you, together with the suggested date and time of your next appointment, and any other arrangements for future treatment.

Getting the typed report to you quickly: Email attachment of secure .pdf document

If you have signed our email consent form, we can send this clinical letter out to you straight away, as a secure .pdf document. Our patients who have smartphones – iPhone, Android and Blackberry devices – often get their typed reports appearing on their phones before they get home from the hospital clinic. Others find it waiting on their iPad, tablet, laptop or desk computer at home. And for those who are not technologically minded, don’t worry, we can still post letters.

Prompt and accurate invoices

And finally, we also raise your invoices straight away, so you know where you stand financially.

Dealing with Questions afterwards – qualified Nurse Clinical Teacher email and telephone support

Mrs Fairley is a qualified nurse and clinical teacher and is available on the telephone and by email to answer any questions you may have about the content of your typed report. She has been doing this for almost twenty years, and can deal with the vast majority of queries straight away.

How we try to be among the best private medical practices in the UK: Treat as you would be treated

We try very hard to make your whole experience as efficient and hassle free as possible. We do it this way because we want to be among the best private medical practices in the UK, and, even more, because this is how we would like to be treated ourselves.


Read what our patients have to say about our efficient, friendly and thorough service.

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This page last updated 17 August 2014