PPG Meeting Minutes – Thursday 19th October 2023

The minutes of the meeting held on 24th August were approved, there were no matters arising.

Apologies, welcomes and introductions

Practice Update

  • The practice reported a temporary increase in DNAs from 4.3% to 5.9%, many of which were appointments for flu or Covid vaccinations, often from patients who had been vaccinated elsewhere and had not cancelled their RPC appointment. The practice explained that vaccinations provided elsewhere are added to patient records but that doesn’t automatically cancel RPC appointments.
  • There has been a slow but positive increase in on-line registrations. Use of the NHS app had increased due to bookings for Covid appointments through the National Booking Hub with a 30% increase from August to September across all nine sites.
  • There has been an increase in positive patient feedback from the Family and Friends test with 1,702 responses received in September and a 86% rating for ‘good’ and ‘very good’ with the same percentage for ‘would recommend to friends and family’. It was good to see many patients acknowledge the hard work done in contrast to the negative comments on social media.
  • An Access To Services Survey had recently been circulated via text messages asking about what patients wanted from RPC and how it could be incorporated into the service. Within three hours of the message being sent over 3,000 responses had been received from a total of 3,820 with much useful feedback being collected. A paper copy was also available to ensure that the survey was as inclusive as possible. Results were shared with the group and actions are going to be taken by the surgery to include these in the upcoming access update. The practice also shared other items of information that will be circulated with the general public as part of the access update in the next coming weeks such as successful GP and call handler recruitment and a new way of working to improve access to the surgeries for all patients.
  • As part of the Additional Roles funded through the North Derbyshire Primary Care Network, the practice have managed to secure 2 physiotherapists who will be providing appointments across the 6 Chesterfield surgeries (Grangewood, Inkersall, Rectory Road, Ashgate, Holme Hall and Whittington). Physiotherapy services are already available at the Clay Cross and Grassmoor surgeries provided through the South Hardwick Primary Care Network.
  • The practice shared that they have enrolled on to a GP Improvement Plan. Working with consultants reviewing work done advising about future areas for change. Some of their recommendations were already being put in place e.g. centralising phones, the introduction of a call back function. The work the practice has done and continues to do on their practice website and social media was also acknowledged. Overall, the consultants’ feedback confirmed that RPC was ahead of the game and heading in the right direction.
  • In talking about Covid clinics the practice shared that there had been a big drop in the number of people wanting Covid vaccinations despite first, second and third reminders being sent. The drop had meant that some Covid clinics had been cancelled due to not being filled.

PPG Matters

  • Recruitment: The chair reported that despite leads coming in, it was still difficult to recruit new members once the role of the PPG had been explained. Another member had had the same response from people they had contacted. There had been instances of patients joining the group who had never attended a meeting nor replied to emails asking if they were still interested in its activities. After three attempts to contact them they have been deleted from the group’s records and distribution list.
  • Constitution: The name of GP practice patient groups is Patient Participation Group and there had been concern at recent Joined Up Care Derbyshire PPG Network meetings that some groups considered their email distribution lists, sometimes numbering several hundred patients, met the ‘participation’ criteria. This had not been the case with our group but the chair felt it beneficial to clarify what was asked of members in the group’s constitution. It is being circulated with these minutes for member feedback.
  • Commitment: The chair said that they appreciated that all PPG members are volunteers but felt that a degree of commitment to attend meetings was a reasonable expectation. They are looking forward to one of the members taking up their role as Secretary in the New Year and wondered if a WhatsApp group or Zoom meeting to bounce ideas around within a small handful of members (in effect a committee) would help our activities and focus thinking.

Joined Up Care Derbyshire PPG Network Meeting Report

  • The chair attended these bi-monthly meetings regularly on behalf of the group. The most recent included an item from Michael Howard who is responsible for media and communications at Derbyshire ICB and who talked about what was being done to support the Primary Care Access Plan. The slide deck from that presentation is attached to these minutes. Marie Scouse, Assistant Director of Nursing and Quality at the ICB attended to answer questions; her written replies are also included with these minutes. There is now a PPG page on the JUCD website at: https://joinedupcarederbyshire.co.uk/involving-people-communities/how-to-get-involved/patient-participation-groups-ppg/

Questions For The Practice

  • One member had asked about whether long service awards for staff were made. The practice said that long service is recognised with certificates and a star awarded by CRH Foundation Trust. The chair was pleased that staff loyalty was acknowledged and wondered if it might be mentioned on the RPC website however he was advised some staff might not want this. The practice said that significant service anniversaries and birthdays were celebrated at staff meetings.
  • One memer had asked about missed appointments. The practice had done some work on this last year and would update it once the new system was fully operational as changes to text messages hopefully had a positive impact on cancelled appointments.
  • One member asked about medication shortages as they’d been advised that one of their pills was out of stock nationwide. It was explained that there was indeed a supply chain problem and this was causing problems for practices and chemists alike with NHS England issuing alerts in extreme cases when alternatives need to be sourced.