PPG Meeting Minutes

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

March 2023: Held via Zoom Video Conference


Present: Tracey Scorer (PPG Co-ordinator), Leanne Birch (Operations Manager), John Hewitt (PPG Chair), Dr Ella Costales (GP Partner), Sandra Maddison (Practice Manager) & 14 PPG Members

Guests: Jack Buckland (Locality Manager) & Richard Jefferis (Help & Wellbeing Coach) – Help & Care


1. Welcome

John welcomed everyone to the 11th Practice PPG Meeting held via zoom including our guests from Help and Care - The Dorset Self-Management Service. John encouraged the PPG to ask questions and join in the discussions on topics raised.


2. Help & Care – Supporting people and communities to live the lives they choose.

Jack started the discussion by giving an overview of Help and Care and the Self-Management Team who are focused on providing support to people living with a long-term health condition, carers and those who may be isolated or housebound with a person-centred approach. Everyone has different needs, so the team work closely with people to understand what really matters to them and help them lead independent and fulfilling lives for as long as possible. A coach is linked to the person who will delve deeper into their problem, and what might be stopping the person overcoming the problem by reviewing any obstacles and create a plan on how to overcome these obstacles.

  • Link Workers can help by signposting to services within the local area and helping people to access these services.
  • Social Prescribers have the time to conduct a personalised conversation with people about their social and emotional requirements and co-create a support plan.
  • Self-Management coaches work with people to help them feel confident about managing their own health and its impact on their day-to-day life.

Further information about the Dorest Supported Self-Management Service: Help & Care


3. Digital Exclusion

This item was placed on the agenda after running out of time at the previous meeting.

Question. How does the practice ensure patients who are unable to access online services have the same access to the surgery as their online neighbours?

The practice have digital volunteers available at the surgery who can help people sign up and use Patient Online Services. The more patients that can utilise online services to book appointments, request medication, and submit patient health questionnaires then frees up the phone lines for people who are unable use online services.

Patients are still able to call in at reception, telephone or write to the surgery as they have done previously. The Practice offers all patients their choice of how they might contact the surgery and can choose to use online services/or not as they wish.


4. Digital Volunteers

Digital Volunteers are now available Monday mornings at Preston Surgery and Wednesday mornings at Royal Crescent Surgery. They give their time to help people sign up and show how to use online services, such as SystmOnline, NHS App and the Airmid App.

The Digital Volunteers can show people how to access the Practice website and what it offers. Since the roll out in November last year over 50 patients have been signed up and shown how to use patient online services. The Practice are extremely grateful to these volunteers for giving up their time to help others.


5. Practice updates

Leanne said the Practice still have flu vaccinations and are contacting eligible people to have their vaccination before the end of March, at which time they will no longer be able to offer the vaccination.

4 GPs are on maternity leave – they have had locum cover, and other GP Partners have covered extra clinics.

A mental health triage worker is available every Monday who can provide signposting and advice.

There are two General Practice Assistants (GPAs) who provide a support role to the GPs carrying out administrative tasks combined with some basic clinical duties, such as taking a pre-assessment questionnaire from patients, monitoring BP, Height, Weight, blood tests and ECGs. They can sign post patients and complete referrals.

Electronic Repeat Dispensing (ERD) There is a small team initiating ERD which is suitable for patients who might be on 2 or 3 medications and have been and will be on the same medications long term. Patients are contacted, and with their agreement put onto the ERD scheme.

The GP will then issue 11 months of medication and send this to the patients nominated pharmacy.

The pharmacy then dispenses the monthly medication. This saves the pharmacy / or patient having to request the medication each month and saves on administration time within the Practice.


6. CQC Report

Sandra stated how pleased the Practice are to have retained their ‘Outstanding’ status. The CCQ look at several areas within the Practice such as, is the Practice Safe, Caring, Responsive, Effective and Well-led?

Sandra said the Practice Aspiration was:

  • For even more joined up care within long term conditions / medication reviews and monitoring of medicines.
  • Wider services – to use and support access for social prescribers, health coaches, pharmacists.
  • Empower patients to self-manage (if able) using digital services/Apps for BP, Diabetes and Respiratory management, in turn releasing time for other patients.

The CQC report highlighted some areas for the Practice to work on:

  • Continue to improve uptake of cervical screening
  • Review systems to monitor patients on high-risk medications (such as warfarin, lithium) prior to prescribing.
  • The provider should monitor training to ensure all staff training is up to date.
  • Continue to embed systems and processes to allow for effective monitoring of risk, for example acting on safety alerts.

Read the full CQC report


7. New Website

Feedback from the PPG and patients has been extremely positive. Patients have found it user friendly, clear concise and easy to navigate. The translate function is extremely helpful enabling the website to be viewed in a great many languages. The website also has an accessibility menu whereby a user can adjust the way the website is viewed making it more accessible.

The practice was congratulated on providing a fresh, modern, and comprehensive website.


8. AOB

A discussion was held regarding future meetings, should they be via Zoom or Face to Face in the Surgery?. It was felt those who could join the meeting via Zoom preferred this as it gave them the chance to join from their own home and made meetings more accessible for members who find it difficult to travel to the surgery. But it was also appreciated that face to face meetings allowed for a more fluid exchange of ideas and conversation and allowed people to pick up on non-verbal information.

It was agreed to continue with Zoom meetings, but to include one Face to Face meeting a year.


9. Next meeting

The date for the next PPG Meeting is yet to be confirmed.

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