PPG Meeting Minutes

Have you heard? We are helping to develop a stronger network of PPGs in Dorset

January 2024: Held via Zoom Video Conference


Present: Tracey Scorer (PPG Co-ordinator), Leanne Birch (Operations Manager), John Hewitt (Preston PPG Chair), Dr Ella Costales (GP Partner), Carole Pentelow (Practice Manager, Dorchester Road Surgery & 18 PPG Members 

Chair: John Hewitt


1. Welcome

John welcomed everyone to the 14th Practice PPG meeting held via zoom. John encouraged the PPG to ask questions and join in the discussions on topics raised.


2. Actions From Last Meeting and Practice Updates

Leanne said she had looked at the ‘What 3 Words’ action from the last meeting and the ‘what3word’ could be added to a patient’s medical notes on the front page.  Leanne said she had yet to speak to the Partners on using this.

  • The practice are still offering flu vaccinations which will stop by March.
  • 2 new receptionists have joined the team and are doing well.
  • 4 New GP registrars will join the Practice in February for 6 months alongside the 3 GP registrars currently.  
  • The 3 new clinical rooms at Royal Crescent Surgery are now complete and ready for use.

3. Dorset Medicines Waste Campaign 

Sadly Tracy Lyons had connection issues and could not join the meeting, but Tracy provided the information below.

NHS Dorset estimates that 80% of the cost of prescribing in primary care is generated from repeat prescribing. This equates to more than £9m per month in Dorset. We estimate that if 1 in 20 medicines are not reordered in February / March, the system may save up to £1m. NHS Dorset will be launching a public campaign to support realisation of these savings.

  • Phase 1 will be asking people to check their medicine supplies before ordering to support reduction of waste in Dorset.
  • Phase 2 will be about patients taking more responsibility for ordering their own medicines via the NHS app or other online mechanisms. The aim will be to reduce repeat requests made via community pharmacy.

Practice Staff and pharmacies will support this campaign. To find out more visit the NHS Dorset website

Leanne said when people collect medicine from a pharmacy, they should check that all is correct.  If there is a problem or an incorrect item dispensed this can be given back to the pharmacy if you have not left the premises, but once outside the pharmacy the medicine is now ‘yours’ and the pharmacy cannot take it back to re-sell. 

Tracey to add information to the next newsletter.


4. Practice Merger 

Practice contracts will merge on 1st April and the surgeries clinical systems for patients will merge on 1st May.

Carole said that Dorchester Road staff were happy to merge with Royal Crescent and Preston Road Practice and that the 3 Surgeries will come under the new Practice name of The Weymouth Bay Medical Practice (WBMP).  Each site will retain their surgery name under the WBMP.

Carole said that they have been advertising for some time for GP’s and now with the view of the new merge of the practices have recruited 2 more GPs to join their 2 partners and salaried GP.   

Patients will continue to be registered with their usual GP and will receive care from their usual branch site.  However, if a patient wishes to register at a different site due to ease of access, then an internal transfer can be arranged, along with a new usual GP.

A new partnership deed is being drawn up for the partners, along with legal advice regarding staff and contracts.

  • The PPG said it was important to keep staff morale up whilst any changes are carried out and to keep patients informed and reassured.

A discussion was held about the PPG groups merging as part of the new WBMP. Carole said she had held successful hybrid PPG meetings allowing people to join online or attend face to face at the practice, and this is something we could look to do in the future.  The PPG discussed varying the meeting times to include afternoons and evenings.

It was agreed that individual branch site PPGs could still meet if a discussion was relevant to a particular site only and all present agreed that joining the PPGs was a good idea, as most topics discussed at meetings are the same and relevant to all sites.


5. GP Survey – Patient Experience

The GP Patient Survey is an independent survey run by Ipsos on behalf of NHS England. The survey is sent out to over two million people across England. The results show how people feel about their GP practice.  

Jim encouraged anyone who receives a survey to complete it, to enable a good representative sample of patient views. The results are good for practices, as they can use the results to improve patient experience. Results can also be compared to other practices in England, and anyone can view the results by visiting the GP Patient Survey website.


6. Digital Champions 

The Digital Champions are available to help people with IT issues at Weymouth Library. These are pre-booked appointments and can help people with setting up email accounts, and online services such as GP patient online services, NHS App, online shopping, banking and more.  Appointments can be booked by calling 01305 221048.  Leslie said there was scope for the Digital Champions to be present at GP Surgeries on a regular basis again, should the Practice wish.  Carole said she would speak to Sue who organised the Digital Champions visiting the surgeries.


7. Health Apps and Dorset Video Library

John led a quick discussion on the many Apps now available to support patients’ health and wellbeing along with a Video Library online by Our Dorset. There are a great many short video clips on a wide range of medical problems offering advice and support.


8. Next Meeting

The date for the next meeting is yet to be confirmed but we hope to join with Dorchester Road PPG for further discussions as part of the Weymouth Bay Medical Practice.

John thanked all members for attending and brought the meeting to a close.