PPG Meeting Minutes

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

October 2023: Held via Zoom Video Conference


Present: Tracey Scorer (PPG Co-ordinator), Leanne Birch (Operations Manager), John Hewitt (Preston PPG Chair) & 15 PPG Members

Chair: John Hewitt

Apologies: Dr Ella Costales


1. Welcome

John welcomed everyone to the 13th Practice PPG meeting held via zoom. John encouraged the PPG to ask questions and join in the discussions on topics raised.


2. Practice Updates

Leanne apologised for the cancelation of the previous meeting due to sickness.

Building works

Building works are currently being carried out at Royal Crescent Surgery making way for 3 additional clinic rooms.

Flu vaccination season going well

  • 52% of Age 2y – 3y have been vaccinated. (120 vaccinated)
  • 73% of Age 65 and over group have been vaccinated. (3873 vaccinated)
  • 40% of <Age 65 eligible group have been vaccinated. (This group of patients often prove difficult to vaccinate) (776 vaccinated)
  • 90% of Care home residents have been vaccinated. (168 vaccinated)

The GPs carried out pulse checks for patients aged over 65, and if found to be irregular an ECG was offered at the clinic, with results straight away. The practice identified 15 patients with Atrial Fibrillation, which may have otherwise gone undetected.

Leanne thanked the PPG members who helped at the 2 large flu clinics.

When vaccinating the housebound group, some houses were difficult to find.

  • It was mentioned that the What 3 Words App could help when finding these houses. Maybe when visiting such houses, the GP or nurse could update the ‘What 3 Words App’, so the patient is aware of the ‘What 3 Words’ and could relay this information to others, when trying to find the property i.e. Ambulance crew, District Nurses. It was asked if the 3 words could be put on the patient record? Leanne will enquire further.

Practice Merger

The merger with Dorchester Road practice is scheduled for April 2024. There is a lot of high-level contractual work being carried out by the Practice Managers and GP Partners. The clinical systems will merge and will have one ‘J-Code’ – this is the unique code that all GP surgeries have. In effect, the GP surgeries will become a 3 site Practice. The Q&A page on the Practice website will be updated as and when with further information for patients.

Staff Wellbeing is a priority

The Practice recently had a staff wellness / team building event in which Dorchester Road staff attended, along with Live Well Dorset. Leanne

Enhanced Access

Has been discussed at previous PPG meetings, but some PPG members, along with patients are still unclear with this is. Enhanced Access is more availability of appointments offered within the Weymouth locality. These are appointments that are offered outside of normal surgery hours (i.e. Saturdays) and they may be held at another GP surgery. This includes GPs, nurses, first contact physiotherapists, mental health workers.

  • It was suggested the W&P PCN could create a patient video explaining this service, and then share the video widely with patients.
  • Put information on enhanced access on the website.
  • Add to next newsletter.

3. Age UK

Hilary gave a brief run down of the different services offered by Age UK in the Weymouth area. Most services are free, but for some there is a small charge, i.e., Domestic Service / Handyman service. There is a befriending service which can be at a person’s home or a weekly chat on the telephone. There’s an online coffee club held via Zoom with guest speakers, and a Good Neighbours scheme. Age UK can help with the completion of benefit forms, i.e., Attendance Allowance forms, along with Advocacy support and can offer lots more Information and Advice.

Hilary said if she is asked to visit a person, she will assess the person as a whole and if the person requires services that Age UK are unable to offer, she can signpost to the correct service. Tracey will add details in the next newsletter, and Leanne said it would be useful if Hilary could come and chat to the reception team at one of the staff meetings


4. Progress on obesity and eating well

John said there was lots of good information and advice on healthy eating online, especially Diabetes UK and British Heart Foundation. Discussions were held on holding a healthy eating demonstration/event. Leanne said this sort of event would be organised by the W&P PCN.

There is currently free budget cooking session being held by the Friendly Food Club held at St Francis Church, Littlemoor, Mondays 10am-12pm for 6 weeks. Attendees receive ingredients worth over £5 at each session AND a free slow cooker, pressure cooker or air fryer. The Friendly Foot Club show people how to save money with some cooking basics and learn how to use low energy equipment to prepare a meal to take home. Initiatives like this are fantastic for local people, but quite often it is a case of how to spread the word to those who would benefit. Posters are up in the surgery and posts on Facebook.

For further information visit The Friendly Food Club online


5. Weymouth Research Hub

Leanne shared a short video about the Weymouth Research Hub which is situated at the Linden Unit. The Weymouth Research Hub is inviting local people to come forward and get involved. This new NHS-backed centre offers people in Weymouth, Portland and across West Dorset the chance to take part in vital, life-saving clinical trials. Research is vitally important in developing new treatments and improving health. The new research hub brings opportunities to Weymouth and the surrounding region. For further information visit Weymouth Research Hub online

Whether it’s testing a new medicine, a new surgery procedure or scan, or trying healthier lifestyle choices to prevent disease, everyone has an important role to play – if they want to.


6. Next meeting

The date for the next PPG Meeting will be Tuesday 30th January 1pm start.

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