Minutes Feb 2015


Dorothy opened the meeting and welcomed our new members. The minutes of the last meeting in January 2015 were reviewed and it was agreed that they were accurate. There were no matters arising from the minutes.

Group Objectives:

The group objectives for 2014/2015 were reviewed. Dr Gray said that the group had made an excellent progress and had met all the objectives required in the NHS DES with appropriate review of feedback, action plan and actions which had been undertaken. She said she would be compiling this into a report over the next four weeks and publishing it on the Practice website. David asked about the demographics of the Practice and whether the group was representative. Dr Gray explained that we did have information about our Practice demographic. Pragmatically the group was made up with the patients that were able to attend but the Practice has made direct efforts to involve under represented groups by approaching patients directly and it was agreed from the previous meeting that this was an effective manner of recruiting in addition to our usual methods.

Patient Information Leaflet:

Mike brought a draft copy which he had produced with some ideas about how the logo and photography may be used and a general layout. It was agreed that some minor alterations needed to the made to the text including an additional section referring to patient’s access to their medical records. Dr Gray asked that the section on the Sunderland CCG mentioning PMS v GMS contracts be taken out as this is unlikely to remain accurate due to the current PMS contract renegotiations. It was agreed to the use the existing photograph as it was felt unlikely that a more striking graphic image could be reproduced for the building and Arthur stated that he would look at different type setting options with size of photographs. We are not yet sure whether there will be any spare space on the final page of the eight page leaflet. There was a discussion as to whether there was any further information that we wish to include .We felt that most of the core information was already there and if there were any space which the type setters were unable to fill, that this could be left blank for patients to make their own notes regarding appointments etc.

There was a discussion about the size of the print run. Dr Gray said they had checked and there were about 3000 separate households in the Practice, however it was felt that posting out leaflets to every individual household would involve considerable expense. Dr Gray said she had discussed this with the partners who had experience of the previous leaflet and it was felt that 1000 print run initially would be sufficient, as the leaflet may need alteration in the future and once the type set is done then future print runs would be much cheaper. Arthur had agreed to arrange two quotes for costs. There was a further discussion about the options for distribution although members of the PPG had offered to do a leaflet drop, it was suggested that the logistics of organizing this might be extremely time consuming from an administrative point of view . Dr Gray said that the leaflets would be given to new patients joining the practice. There was a possibility of distributing them with prescriptions ,including them in other correspondence from the practice to the patients and making them available to be picked up within the surgery if patients were interested in doing so. The information included will also be made available on our website.

It was agreed that Arthur would send the drafts to the type setters, arrange a final quote for printing and a final draft of the patient information leaflet will be discussed with a smaller group including Mike, Dorothy, Arthur and Carol. She would pass this back to the partners for comment and then provided there were no further amendments needed, the leaflet would be sent to the printers, hopefully by the end of March.

Hello my Name Is….. campaign

Dorothy and Mike had been sent information regarding this from Julie McDonald. Carol explained that this was an on-line campaign which had been set up by Kate Grainger, a doctor who had been treated for cancer and had an on-line blog describing her experiences. She has launched a national campaign to improve the interactions between patients and health care professionals She had noted that during her hospital visits, she had often been treated by people who had not introduced themselves. She has since launched a campaign, particularly on Twitter, to encourage health professionals to introduce themselves by name. Dr Gray said that she felt this was an excellent campaign and particularly useful in secondary care environment where there is little continuity of care. However, she also noted that in the General Practice environment where many doctors and patients have known each other over a number of years, a blanket approach of introducing yourself by name on each occasion could sometimes feel impersonal and have the opposite effect on patients.

Coalfields Forum Report

Dorothy reported back from the Coalfields Forum and the main issue that they have been addressing is the new patient transport booking service. Comments from other Practices mirror our own experience in that the process is now more time consuming but the ambulance service reports a reduced number of patient transport episodes by about 15%. There is an appeals process but there seems to be conflicting information in terms how this appeals process works. The ambulance service says that there is an appeals number where an instant decision can be made and if at that stage the patient is still in disagreement, the decision can be escalated to the patient’s GP. However, Dorothy also drew our attention to an article in the Sunderland Echo where David Gallagher, Sunderland CCG stated that if patients were unhappy and wish to appeal that this could be done through the PALS Service so unfortunately things remain unclear. Dorothy asked if Dr Gray could provide brief bullet points of the practices experiences to take forward to the meeting Dr Gray stated that reports from the reception staff stated the process was time consuming, it could be poor at discriminating patients who definitely needed anambulance, the receptionist found some the questions quite intrusive .It was also felt that when refusing patients transport, particularly if they have been in receipt of this in the past, there was the potential to break down good relationships between the practice’s administration staff and patients. Dr Gray noted that some practices are actively opting out of the service and Dorothy said that an alternative provider was in place to arrange transport bookings for practices that had opted out.

Friends and Family Test

For January 2015, Dr Gray found the responses were much better. We had a greater response rate and 93% of patients agreed that they would recommend the Practice to Family and Friends which is an improvement on December’s initial results. We had two negative comments around prescriptions errors and Mike also mentioned that there is some difficulty with repeat dispensing, particularly when medication is changed and Dr Gray agreed that she felt this was also a problem. Repeat dispensing was ideal for patients who were on long term stable medication but that there was a drive from the CCG to try and encourage Practices to increase the percentage of patients using this service. She felt this was resulting in some patients who were less suitable being included, particularly those who were likely to have frequent changes in medication. She said the Practice were aware of this and were looking to see whether there were processes that could be put in place in the Practice to make the system more straight forward and reduce the possibilities for error but that they were also reliant on the local Pharmacies to ensure that they were also meeting their responsibilities in this regard.

Date of Next Meeting:

It was agreed to move the date of the next meeting to a Tuesday as Wednesday’s proved difficult for many of our group and the next meeting is :


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