PRESENT:  Patients:  Veronica Brinton , Jonny Bucknell, Hilary Calvert, Mimi Colahan, Maria Constantinidou, Ian Critchley, Danya Glaser, Jill Fraser, Isky Gordon, Kathy Graham-Harrison, Nancy Hogg, Kirsten de Keyser, Patricia Langton, Tamar Posner, Carmel Rycroft, Judy Sands, Gill Scott, Donatella Soldi , Gill Walt, Amanda Williams, Manor Wong; Practice: Pal Bhambra, Sarah Worboys, Stephen Yaxley

APOLOGIES:  Pat Banks, Nori Graham, Brian Harding, Adriana Santos-Davila

MATTERS ARISING: The July PPG was held in the garden, and was a hybrid event, giving patients and staff from the practices the opportunity to talk to each other in an informal atmosphere.  Both Pal Bhambra and Sarah Warboys answered questions raised. Minutes were not taken, given the informality of the occasion.

  1. REPORT from Pal Bhambra on James Wigg and Queens Crescent

Pal made an informative PowerPoint presentation providing an overview of the two practices, which included the following:

  • Demographics, for both JWP and QC. Data was broken down into various subgroups including ethnicity and age.
  • Disease, showing the 5 commonest diseases at both practices, the most common being mental health.
  • Complaints, which covered only JWP. The numbers of complaints both oral and written were presented, including the system to handle them. One of the main problem areas was appointments.
  • Staff ratio of doctors to patients was shown. Discussion on all staff levels was then discussed.
  • The very high level of phone calls was given, broken down by day and time of call. The Practice aims to look at the reasons for the calls and find solutions to the underlying cause. Some solutions were discussed including email call back and a live chat on the web. Technical difficulties are a limiting factor.
  • Changes have been made to the on-line eConsult form. This is now generally available every weekday between 08.00 and 15.00 pm. The end time is dependent on how many appointments are still available at 15.00. It was pointed out that for many patients who are working having extended hours would be helpful, especially where the concern was not urgent.

There was lively discussion on many aspects of Pal’s presentation which gave a good indication of the sorts of issues patients are concerned about and which took up most of the meeting.  During the discussion a number of suggestions were made. For example, when the website is updated, the potential for self-care should be explained, which might be one route to reduce both telephone calls and some appointments.  The new website should also emphasize that it is not necessary to phone between 8 and 9 am for an appointment, and that this message needs to be disseminated more broadly to patients.  The majority of patients present wanted a message on the telephone system giving their position in the holding queue. There was also a request for data at the next meeting of the % of patients who use eConsult and, and, given the increase in the number of patients seen, whether it was possible to provide more information on demographic groups and conditions presenting.

The slides are available by clicking here.


Given the discussion after the presentation, only a few concerns from the volunteer group were raised. It was noted that the self-check-in kiosk had been working for a couple of weeks and was helpful in managing the queue. However, the overhead electronic screens were not all in order, the duration of messages was too short, the font too small. It was suggested that there should be a clear place to leave letters, to save patients queueing to hand them in. It was agreed that there would be a fuller report back at the next PPG meeting.

The rest of the agenda was held over for the next meeting, having run out of time.

  1. AOB

The next PPG meeting will be on Thursday 30th November 2023 from 2.00 – 3.30 pm.

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