Patients Participation Group Meeting 8th April 2021

The Patient Participation Group held its first meeting of the year, still with the restrictions of lockdown, via Zoom to a very limited group on the 8th April at 6pm.

The meeting was chaired by Samantha Sharkey, GP Direct Practice Manager. The group expressed its thanks and support to all staff for their work during the pandemic. The new advanced website was recommended to members and patients for up to date information on the practice.

The agenda included the review of a report received from Health Watch UK, a questionnaire was completed and results compiled from 100 patients who attend GP practices in the borough. The report highlighted some of the problems experienced during the pandemic plus the move with technology to digital appointment booking systems. This report was compiled from this small number of participants and it was felt that it was not typical of the reactions of patients of GP Direct.

It was reported that patients were responding well to the Klinik System and a large increase in direct use of the system had been experienced. There was still good availability by phone with the reception team to book appointments, who also then use the same system. Although there had been changes to the method of booking appointments, it was still possible to request an appointment with a doctor of choice via the Klinik system; this request, whenever possible, would be honoured. The group was assured that every request made via Klinik was reviewed by a GP but then may be referred to another professional for implementation.

There was also an update on the primary care network (PCN) SPHERE.  The structure is now fully operational with 6 local practises as members including GP Direct, two part time Clinical Directors and a newly recruited PCN Manager.

The Practice Manager outlined the current staffing in the practice which includes; 7 GP partners, 6 salaried GPs, 2 trainee GPs this large team is further supported by a nursing team, clinical pharmacists, a first contact physio therapist and phlebotomists all providing front line medical services. Vacancies at the practice and on the PPG were also outlined to the meeting. Limitation on the time available on Zoom restricted further discussion and consideration of other items. This method of communication would be reviewed before the next meeting scheduled for the 11th May. If you would wish to participate with the group in helping to shape the future direction of the Practice and gain a better understanding on what goes on in running a large dynamic GP Practice then please join the next meeting by supplying your details using our feedback form and selecting the subject Join the PPG

We look forward to hearing from you.

David Bell

PPG Member