Patients: Gill Walt (Chair), Mimi Colahan (Vice Chair), Gordon Meen, , Judy Sands, Susan Hutton, Ruthina Newton,  Kathy Graham-Harrison, Robert Graham-Harrison, Philippa Fraser, Isky Gordon, Veronica Brinton, Fatima Mateus

Practice: Natasha Smeaton (GP), Loni Booker (Practice Manager), Siobhan Moriarty (deputy Practice Manager), Charlotte Rose, Patricia Langton (Queens Crescent PPG), Dilini Kalupahana (GP).


Judy Hildebrand, Adam Leys, Joanna Terry.

  1. Welcome and apologies

The chair welcomed  Dr Dilini Kalupahana to her first PPG meeting, and a team from the Queen’s Crescent Practice.

  1. Minutes and discussion on PPGs

The minutes of previous meeting were accepted. They were emailed to the PPG list and are up on the James Wigg website .

The chair then asked for thoughts and ideas about ‘what is the PPG for?’. The following discussion ensued.

  • The PPG had in the past made suggestions and had ideas that resulted in PPG activity that was to the benefit of the practice.
  • PPG informs the Practice about what is important to patients
  • PPG helps with gathering data on specific concerns to the Practice
  • Practice comes up with ideas and PPG carries out the work to assess these
  • PPG gets wider information from CPPEG, connecting to wider communities in Camden
  • PPG is independent from and is able to be critical of the Practice.
  • The PPG carries some weight as the voice of the public
  • Use of email for PPG: there are about 70 patients on the PPG email list, but it could be expanded. Every new patient gets information about PPG in their registration pack. It was proposed to ask new patients if they are happy for their email to be forwarded to PPG so that more patients can be included on the email list.

Queen’s Crescent Practice members spoke of the trials and joys with getting their PPG going, and welcomed the fact that Dr Smeaton would be joining the Practice.

  1. Volunteer opportunities

Art Workshop:  FreeSpace has many projects, and  PPG members are being invited to help with some of the workshops: Susan Hutton has volunteered to support one of the art workshops starting this month.

Garden: There is a competition to grow the largest sunflower in the flower bed of the Practice. The PPG is one of several competitors.  All are encouraged to water the PPG patch, which is marked!

The bigger garden area outside reception is being revitalized by FreeSpace and PPG members are welcome to join as volunteers in that space on Friday afternoons, between 2-5pm

  1. Report back from PPG engagements

Kathy Graham-Harrison reported back on some issues arising at CPPEG (Camden Participation and Public Engagement Group) meetings:

  • Extended hours discussed. Available from 6.30 – 8.00 pm week days and 8.00 am – 8.00 pm on Saturday and Sunday. Appointments made via reception, or patients can phone directly. There are 4 hubs offering the extended hours service in Camden: the one closest to James Wigg is at the Caversham Practice. Patient feedback has been positive. Many of the GPs running the hub are from the James Wigg practice.
  • Reception staff at James Wigg need to be reminded to inform patients of the extended hours service if there is no available appointment.
  • Accessible communication for patients was discussed: Healthwatch has been visiting Practices in Camden to help ensure that information is easily understood. James Wigg has been a leading light in this area.
  • CPPEG has asked for patients views of what should be discussed at the next Forum – and would appreciate more responses. Contact Martin [email protected].

Patient engagement:  One member of the PPG had attended a self-care workshop. This was very good and most useful. Another mentioned that a review of many UCLH departments had been undertaken and all departments had come out with top marks.

Carers support initiative: after much discussion, and little response from carers in the Practice, it was decided to leave this idea on the side for the moment, and acknowledged that Camden Carers is doing a great job.

Mental health services was brought up. It was agreed that it would be an agenda item for a PPG discussion.

  1. Feedback from the Practice
  • New patients. Every practice is obliged to accept new patients. A practice is not allowed to refuse a patient.
  • New telephone service. The upgrade will be on 26 April. This will give greater flexibility and monitoring, for example telling people where they are in the queue.
  • Audit of reception queue. This is ongoing. On one day last week there were about 250 patients seen at reception, for a wide variety of requests. An analysis of the audit will be done when it is completed and will result in changes. PPG will get feedback in +/- 3 months
  • DNA (Numbers of patients who do not attend their appointments). This has been reduced from 11% to 7%, which is a very good result. The reduction may be related to use of TXT to remind patients as well as letters from the Practice Manager.
  • There were 115 in 12 months, from among over 20,000 patients. The commonest reasons were: poor communication about a change in GP; appointment or type of service no longer offered, availability of appointments.
  • Meet your Practice – PPG July meeting. This was a great success last year and drew more people because of texting. This year it will be held on Thursday 12 July from 6.00 – 7.30, hopefully partly in the garden.
  1. AOB
  • The Loss Foundation: This is a charity for people who have lost a relative through cancer.  It is run by a group of psychologists, and offers support groups in three different venues around London.  Their website is:  More information from Mimi Colahan.
  • Advance Care Plan: a grant proposal is being prepared to get trained facilitators to have conversations with patients and their families about advance care planning. Patient comments and suggestions on the proposal are requested. Please contact Isky Gordon by email [email protected]
  • NAPP: the next annual meeting of the National Association of Public Participation will be in Nottingham on Saturday 7 June, from 10-4pm. Please contact Gill or Mimi if interested in attending.  Open to all PPG members.

The Chair thanked Dr Natasha Smeaton for having been the link doctor between the Practice and the PPG for the last three years – and for having been accessible and open and always a great support to the PPG.  She welcome Dr Dilini Kalupahana in her place.

Next meeting – Thursday 12 July from 6.00 – 7.30.

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