Would you like to have a say about the service we provide?
We would like to hear your views, please give your details to reception if you wish to join our PPG, or register on line. We can arrange regular meetings or share views virtually if you would prefer, please give us your email address.
See below a history of our Patient Participation Group Meetings, throughout our discussions with patients we will generate a number of action points that we can try to work on to help improve our service.
Points from PPG meeting 9th of September 2020
Practice held an online PPG meeting on the 9th of September via Microsoft teams, below are the points that were raised by the PPG members and answered by the Practice.
Repeat prescription. There was some question raised on repeat prescription requests: Reception supervisor clarified that the repeat prescription can be requested online, via a local pharmacy or a paper request can be dropped to the designated prescription box at the practice. Reception Supervisor also confirmed that when the repeat prescription is not issued it may mean that the patient needs a medication review and an appointment may need to be booked with a GP.
There was a discussion in regards to an online booking for children. It is possible for parents to book an appointment online for minors under 13 years of age.
It was confirmed that if a patient needs to be seen in the practice they will be called for a face to face appointment after a telephone triage.
The PPG members asked if the practice is seeing patients in the practice. We can confirm that all patients who are invited for face to face appointments are previously screened via telephone. We are beginning to see face to face patients’ who need a review for their Long Term Conditions but we are doing our best to minimise the time of staggering the appointments.
PPG members’ feedback: The surgery is managing well overall. Patients are pleased with a new telephone appointment system as it is quicker and easier to be able to get an appointment. Existing PPG members feel that more needs to be done to increase PPG.PPG members are planning to set up a WhatsApp group or email group to communicate regarding PPG meetings, share information and ideas. PPG members suggested that it may be a good idea to have meetings more frequently e.g. every couple of months.
Patient Participation Group (PPG) Meeting – 30th of June 2020
Practice held an online PPG meeting on the 30th of June via Microsoft teams, below are the points that were raised by the PPG members and answered by the Practice.
- Introduction and welcome of newly appointment PPG Chair
- Question around PPE has been raised. The Doctor reassured PPG members that the Practice is well equipped with the relevant PPE and that all the clinicians are using the required PPE. Reception supervisor also confirmed that all the patients visiting the practice are asked to wear a mask or a face covering. Practice also has a Hand Sanitiser at Reception for all incoming patients and visitors to sanitise their hands. We also have informative posters displayed at the practice.
- Question was asked if patients are being seen at the practice. The doctor gave clarification on the raised issue. All patients are triaged over the telephone. Those patients who need a face to face appointment are being invited to the practice after the telephone triage. The doctor also reassured the meeting members that all urgent and 2-week wait cancer referrals are still being done by the practice.
- Question was asked about how and who should be tested for Covid-19. The doctor gave a further explanation of testing. Patients are not routinely tested at the practice. Patients who have symptoms of Covid-19 are informed to attend testing centres set up around Newham.
- Doctor updated PPG members on a new number of ways we have generated to see our patients and to deal with any occurring issues. As a routine all patients are offered a telephone appointment, however, if a GP feels that patient needs to be seen, then a face to face appointment is offered or video consultation is conducted. We also use AccuRx text messaging service to send information to patients or to receive photos for diagnosis if needed. The doctor also expressed her understating that virtual appointments are not suitable for all the patients and that some patents e.g. patients with mental health problems may find it difficult. We do our best to fulfil the needs of all the patients.
- Staff confirmed that most of the patients were very understanding of the current changes and they were happy with the Practice arrangements.
- Staff mentioned that the practice managed well with the current situation and was able to deal with appointments demand.
- The PPG members were happy with the outcome of the meeting and it was confirmed that there are no major issues.
Attendees: June (BMC), AI (Interim Chair), IA, JC,LB,MTM, AS,BW, KM,AS,
AI and June welcomed everyone to the meeting and outlined the purpose of the PPG.
Discussions around medications taken off repeat prescription list without prior discussion with the patient, so when a repeat prescription was requested, items that had been removed could not be requested. These items were required by the patients and no indication had been given by the Doctors’ that they were no longer required by the patient. This has happened to several patients and the medication was reinstated following a Doctors’ appointment, securing appointment is also a challenge and is an unnecessary additional step for the patients.
There is also some feedback of over requesting by pharmacists so that patients are getting more prescriptions than required. There are safety elements within the system but this is occurring. PPG asked if there is an upper limit for prescriptions?
PPG asked June if this could be looked into further to see if this had happened with more patients over the past six months. This information to also be fedback to the Doctors’ and how the practice can work with the Pharmacists to see how this can be avoided in the future as this causes issues for the patients and takes up valuable appointment times.
Appointments are still an issue for patients. Appointments are not available or are available in 4 weeks time when using the online process. Getting an appointment for the next day, some had positive experiences, but a lot had difficulties getting an appointment using all the available methods.
The walk in clinic is also challenging as the limited spaces mean that if people arrived before 8am if there were more people than available slots this would mean that people would be turned away. There needs to be some sort of allocation if there are more people for example, children, elderly, pregnant, mental health. PPG also asked if informal (unpaid carers) for people with medical conditions could also be added to that list. Patients can be informed of this through a mass text to inform all patients at the surgery.
It is not possible to book appointments for children online, this needs to be addressed moving forward.
Nurse appointments can be made at anytime and are more easily available.
Then online appointment booking is also problematic when having to book more than 1 appointment, i.e. when several matters have to be investigated/discussed.
When people arrive for booked appointments people are having to wait upto an hour past their appointment time, this will be fedback to the medical staff.
There is positive feedback of the new telephone system as there is a countdown when waiting in a queue to speak to the staff, this is especially useful at 10am.
Several additional issues where also discussed, it was agreed that for individual issues a formal complaint should be raised to the Practice Manager Maggie Fois who will provide a response, if people are unable to write a complaint in, they can phone and complain and ask for a written response.
Working with other agencies
PPG member reported that it took 10 months to access a wheelchair for their parent, this appeared to be an exceptionally long time and had a negative impact on the patient and their family. How robust are the links with the relevant agencies to prevent this from happening again? How can this be prevented from happening again?
Overall surgery feedback
PPG members were happy with the number of male and female Doctors. The care that is provided is to high standard and members overall gave positive feedback regarding their care and the staff in all areas. Some also discussed the exceptional knowledge and standard of care of the practitioners that had saved their loved ones in highly uncommon diagnosis and prevented a more complex outcome.
There was discussion about minor ailments no longer being available from March 2020. BMC staff to feedback at the next PPG.
June fedback that other PPG’s have social events to include more patients to participate. The PPG discussed some of these such as coffee mornings, lunch in the park in the holidays with fun events. Mass text to include people at these events. This will be picked up and discussed at future meetings.
There was some discussion about using Facebook groups or Twitter etc as well as using the online Patient Access to include more specific information about the surgery. IA to look at the social media element of how we can promote the PPG. June to look at how we can promote the PPG through the surgery information screens.
Next meeting to be held in 6 weeks time 2 April 5pm at Boleyn Medical Centre
Welcome one PPG member to today’s meeting; unfortunately no one else was able to make it today. As there is only the two of us therefore not possible to have a wider discussion today seeing that there are no other members present.
Patient informed me that she attended the PPG workshop with June on 30th of October where they discussed a few tips on how to improve PPG meetings. June made notes of this and hopefully it will all be shared in the next meeting.
I have informed patient that we are trying to improve the PPG Meetings by making a PPG action plan and advertising. New posters are being created and also a PPG board will be placed soon on the ground floor waiting area with updates.
Posters and updated info will be added to our surgery website and Facebook account for easy access to all patients.
Patient offered to help where and when she can to improve our PPG.
We are hoping that we will have more members attending next PPG meeting.
Discussion was held around the PPG acting as a patient led group as intended, with medical centre staff providing minimal support such as circulating minutes, flyers and booking rooms. The group requires a commitment of meeting every 3 months, minutes taken for the meeting and actions followed up. AI agreed to be the interim lead whilst another person was appointed to support the continued running of the group.
Discussions held around increasing the attendance and getting more people with different needs and different backgrounds to attend the group. This is so that the group reflects the make up of the patients at the surgery and everyone has an opportunity to have their voice heard.
The group decided to have a coffee morning in the Autumn when people were back from holiday and childcare was not an issue. The coffee morning will be promoted in September with flyers at the surgery and on the website. Flyers to be developed with the group and agreed with the surgery.
Discussion was held around existing members/previous attendees to the PPG and what are the barriers that prevent people attending regularly. Discussions around time and availability through work, childcare and caring responsibilities. The group will be consulted around what is the best time and day to meet. The group will also look at other ways that people can participate and if this is feasible without physically attending the meeting. AI to write letter and send out for circulation. Majority responses with inform when future meetings are held. This will be kept under review on an annual basis.
Access to appointments
Significant discussion was had around accessing appointments online when non are available this defeats the purpose of being able to book your appointments online for yourself. In addition to this there are also problems accessing the walk-in clinics, people can arrive shortly after 8am and still not access an appointment as the clinic is full. The same historic issues of accessing appointments on the phone were also revisited. The staff feedback that the surgery had looked at several options to enable a walk-in clinic to be available in the afternoon but this was not physically possible with the current staffing provision and the additional responsibilities that Dr’s have in the surgery that do not include contact time with patients. Staff also discussed how patients are encouraged to go to the minor ailments service but this has also not alleviated the pressures on the service. The group asked if there was a limit on the number of patient per practice, the answer is that the surgery cannot turn away patients wishing to register that are in the catchment due to the guidance from the Clinical Commissioning Group.
Staff outlined other options that are available including:
- Seven Day Access on 0207 540 9949
- Dialling 111 for non emergency advice
- Dialling 999 in the event of an emergency
Staff will circulate information about access to these services and contact details.
Staff outlined that appointments can still be made as normal by phoning at 10am for the next day – four lines are manned at this time to ensure as many people as possible have access to appointments when needed.
Questions were asked about the extended/ seven day service and if they can make referrals and request tests as some have been asked to return to the GP which does not help the patient who cannot get an appointment in the first place. Staff stated that the service can request that the GP follow up with the patient and that the patient can ask that this is requested. The surgery will then contact the patient to book an appointment.
- DNAs – send letters – preferably text messages at 2 DNAS – explain that we are a busy surgery and have many patients wanting to register and remove if DNA a further time.
- Advertise the PPG more prominently, ask at registration if we can email them – send emails with notes from the meeting and request any feedback.
- Dr M. Khan to attend next meeting.
Follow up August 2017:
- Posters are now being displayed within the reception area to inform patients of our DNA policy.
- Newly registered patients are informed when they register with us what our DNA policy is.
- Newly registered patients are invited to join our next PPG meeting.
- Dr M. Khan to attend the next PPG meeting – To be arranged.
Action points from our meeting on the 14th September 2016:
- Although generally happy with our reception staff, to further improve their communication skills, it was suggested to arrange training.
- Look at using a surgery mobile phone to communicate with patients i.e. send text messages, as sometimes messages are not received to contact the surgery if left with family members or on voicemail.
- Give double appointments if patients have more than 1 problem.
- Try to offer an evening walk in clinic for those who cannot attend in the morning
Follow up November 2016:
- posters and information provided in different languages – there is an option that features on our website which will allow you to translate into a language of your choice.
- board with estimated waiting times – we now provide a poster that is displayed at front reception and the front window which tells you how many appointments we have available that day for the walk in clinic.
- messy reception, too many posters on windows and notice boards – our posters have been reorganised to make them more accessible.
Action points from our meeting on the 10th June 2016:
- Put more information on the TV screen in the waiting area i.e. mobile phones policy, how to cancel appointments etc.
- Appointment booking facility for working patients – those who can’t call at 10am.
- Speed up the process of letters/referral letter
Follow up July 2016:
- We try to display as much information as possible on our TV screen and with posters, but we will add more information to the TV screen if this is the preferred method.
- We are adding more evening appointments to the online booking facility, and advertise the Additional Capacity Scheme and Extended Hours Service who offer evening and Saturday morning appointments, to our working patients. The advanced evening appointments we offer at the surgery are already prioritised for working patients and can be booked at any time.
- Referral letters are usually produced within a week of seeing the clinician. Depending on the amount of referrals generated depends on whether this can be done quicker. Urgent referrals will be prioritised.
In regards to requests for information or reports, again depends on demand. We produce letters quicker than reports as reports generally require an appointment to see the doctor as well. We aim to have all requests completed within 6 weeks of payment being received, however we do tend to complete most requests within 4 weeks.
Action points from our meeting on the 10th March 2016:
- Another line to be implemented for queries.
- Display a poster regarding not using mobile phones or games consoles in the waiting room.
- To see if information can be provided regarding appointments and the walk in clinic as it gets very busy and patients get frustrated.
Follow up April 2016:
- Unfortunately we do not have the facility to add another phone line in the building but we have changed our telephone message to advise on a better time to contact the surgery for queries.
- We have displayed a poster in the waiting areas advising patients not to use mobile phones or games consoles in the surgery.
- We display posters informing patients how many appointments are available in the walk in clinic that day and other options that are available i.e. online booking, minor ailment scheme.