Minutes of PPG Sept 2014

Minutes of Patient Participation Group Meeting
Held on
2nd September 2014


The minutes of the meeting were reviewed and it was agreed that they are correct and did not require amendment.


It was agreed that the objectives from last year had been successfully completed by the PPG. The survey had been conducted, analysed and the results fed back to the practice and an action plan agreed. Dr Gray discussed the progress the Practice had made towards implementing the changes agreed in the action plan.

The first action point was to display our opening times more prominently, exploring the cost of a sign that could be erected externally. Dr Gray has discussed the external sign with the other partners and the surgery had expressed concerns about the possible permanence of a sign that could be seen from the road as it was likely that it would need to be updated on a regular basis. Signs on the exterior part of the building would not be accessible when the Practice and Pharmacy were both closed as the gates and the car park would be locked. After further discussion, it was agreed the most practical solution would be to improve the signage in the foyer of the building so that opening times were visible when the Pharmacy was open but the Practice closed. Dr Gray stated that the Website had been updated to clarify extended opening hours and that the extended opening hours would also been advertised on the new flat screen display, once this was fully functional.

Point Two – it had been agreed that the Practice would provide a system of opening up some appointments for booking from 1pm the day before and this has been put in place.

Point Three – it was felt that the calling board was poorly situated in reception and the Practice agreed to invest in a new flat screen system for call and recall which could be sited in a better location in the waiting room and would be able to display more detailed information regarding healthcare and Practice services. The flat screen has been purchased and installed. At the moment this is only displaying health information but the engineers are booked to come next week to fully install the software so that it can be used for calling in and also for messages posted by the Practice. Once this is fully functional the old screen will be removed.

Point Four – We agreed to display the names and photographs of our current Practice Team in reception including our attached doctors in training. We are waiting the full functionality of the flat screen to see whether this can be easily done and amended on the flat screen. In the meantime we have agreed to place a small display in reception with the current Practice Team photographs – this remains a working progress.


The recent event during Sunderland Carer’s Week which was supported by the PPG was well attended and feedback after the event from Gina Smith was that she felt it had been successful and as a result she is planning to host similar events quarterly in the Practice. Mike brought along some data regarding referral numbers from general practices to the Sunderland Carer’s Centre and there have been increasing numbers over the last two years. The figures suggested that the Coalfields Practices have been less proactive than those in Washington in identifying Carers and referring them through. Dr Gray agreed to look at the Practice’s own numbers and to feed these back to Mike.


A number of areas were discussed which the group might get involved with in the future, including safeguarding of adults, effects of PMS on contract renegotiations on patient services and reconfiguration of the walk-in services in Sunderland, however it was agreed that at the moment there was insufficient information to identify clearly one piece of work that the group could undertake.

We discussed the importance of feeding back the changes that had been made as a result of the patient’s survey last year in an effective way to the patient population. The Action Plan is available on our website but we agreed this did not necessarily to have sufficient traffic to ensure that patients were aware that changes were being made. It was agreed that perhaps the most efficient way of doing this would be to produce a Practice Participation Group Newsletter, which could be distributed at Reception. This would include a summary of the action plan and progress towards any agreed changes. Arthur agreed he would draft the newsletter and investigate a quote for the printing costs, which if reasonable, would be borne by the Practice.


We discussed that the guidance for obtaining feedback on patient’s views has broadened to allow us to take on board feedback from a variety of sources, including Patients Survey inducted by the group and National Patients Surveys, complaints, suggestions etc. The group should discuss feedback on a regular basis. It was hoped that the National GP Survey results would be available in time for our next meeting and that those could be discussed. It was also agreed that it would be useful to have some mechanism for feedback regarding progress on the 2013/2014 Action Plan and perhaps this could be included as part of the Newsletter.


Gordon questioned whether our recording of DNA appointments was accurate following an incident whereby a patient had been contacted regarding repeated DNAs when in fact the patient had attended for the appointment in question. He stated that the issue had been raised with our Practice Manager and resolved and it appeared to be related to the new EMIS Web system. Dr Gray agreed to raise this with the Partners to ensure that the problem had been remedied.


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