Patients: Gill Walt (Chair), Mimi Colahan (Vice Chair), Isky Gordon, John Banks, Pat Banks, Kathy Graham-Harrison, Judy Sands, Gordon Meehan, Mike Fried, Penny Kirk, Adam Leys,
Practice: Natasha Smeaton, Philip Posner, Loni Booker.
Patients: Donatella Soldi, Micheline Lobjois, Frances Rifkin, Veronica Brinton, Penrose Robertson.
The previous minutes (also posted on the PPG page of the James Wigg website) were accepted as a true record of the previous meeting.
ADVANCE CARE PLANNING MONTH
This is an aware-raising campaign to run during flu month: postcards are available at the flu clinic. A4 posters are going up, will also be on the TV screens, and a banner will be hung in the Practice. Flyers of mylivingwill will be available.
REPORT BACK FROM CPPEG
Kathy Graham-Harrison reported back on a number of issues discussed at CPPEG, around commissioning by the CCG, the imminent announcement of MSK contract, and concerns over the referral system between GPs and hospitals. GP referrals go to a centrally operated system, to get patients to the hospital with the most appropriate and timely appointments. Currently UCH’s e- referral system has reached a 6 month backlog, and referrals are sometimes returned to the GP. PPG members were concerned to hear about the long waiting lists for referrals (for example physio referrals were suspended for 2 weeks in August because of lack of staff), and a brief discussion was held highlighting the causes of the growth in waiting times for referrals. It was agreed that among the reasons were difficulties in recruiting and retaining staff, partly because of housing costs and housing shortages in London, and the financial cuts in the NHS.
The other item discussed was topics for the next CPPG PPG forum to be held in November. It was difficult to identify specific issues, but all agreed that PPG chairs in London, working together, rather than individually, would have more chance of influencing policy. PPG members reiterated their concerns that NHS services both in GP practices and hospitals are under significant pressure, despite the dedication of staff. Reductions in health provision are exemplified by the difficulty in making appointments and long waiting times across the board including with professionals allied to medicine, as discussed above. This is compounded by the difficulty in recruiting and retaining staff. PPG members thought this fall in the provision of health services is directly related to the progressive financial cuts of the past 6 years. The question for the Forum would be whether PPG chairs in Camden working together, could address this issue, and how. The Chair promised to feed this back through the Survey sent out by the CCG. Action: GW
A discussion was held about the management of medicines after a couple of complaints from patients regarding repeat prescriptions, where mistakes had occurred. The Practice acknowledged that this is a difficult area, but that it is being addressed in a number of ways. For example, to avoid misunderstandings, it is no longer possible to leave messages about prescriptions on the answerphone. Electronic prescribing started up over the last 18 months, with the advantage of creating a more auditable trail, but the disadvantage is that it does not include all drugs. On-line ordering of repeat prescriptions is possible, and about 20% of patients use this method, selecting one of 13 named pharmacies from whom to collect their prescription. Requests for repeat prescriptions may also be emailed, but this can take longer than on-line requests, which are supposed to take two working days. It is also clear that some pharmacies have yet to perfect their side of the process.
MOBILE PHONE MESSAGING
The Practice now has the possibility of contacting some 13,000 registered patients by text on their mobile phones. The PPG discussed a message sent out recently asking patients how they preferred to be contacted by the Practice: by text message, email or letter. It was agreed that such messages can be useful, but need to be well discussed beforehand – and the PPG would be a good place to try out ideas. It was decided that a text message inviting patients to a special PPG meeting next summer will be tried, to see if it attracts a larger group of patients. Action: GW, MC, NS, LB
Potential PPG STUDIES
At the last PPG meeting it was decided that a small study of how reception is perceived by patients could be undertaken by the PPG, and feedback to the meeting arranged with the receptionists on October 27th, between 1-2pm. However, the latest GP Patient Survey results suggested that the Practice (92%) is above the national average (87%) of patients who find the receptionists helpful. In view of this positive result, it was decided instead that those PPG members who will attend the meeting with receptionists will give some overall observations. A number of people made suggestions regarding the importance of engaging patients face-to-face and with a smile, (recognizing that this was sometimes difficult when having to check the computer), and also to discuss with receptionists if there was a better way of dealing with queues, in order to make the overall experience better. Action: GW, MC to remind those interested about the meeting and its objectives.
One of the results from the GP Patient Survey merited follow up, and was discussed. It suggested that, whereas nationally 85% of patients consider that they are sufficiently involved in their care, only 82% of JW patients felt so. It was thought therefore it would be useful to do a survey looking at patients’ experiences with their GPs. The questions to be answered – why are we below national average? How this might be followed up? – will be brought to the next PPG meeting. Action: GW, MC, PP, NS, LB
FEEDBACK FROM PRACTICE
The Care Quality Commission (CQC) visit took place on 22 September. The assessors spoke to patients, reception staff, nurses, GPs, the PPG chair and a PPG member, after a presentation on the Practice was given by Dr Posner. It was suggested that the presentation would be of interest to a wider audience, and might form the basis of a PPG meeting next summer. The report will be available in 4 to 5 weeks.
NEXT PPG MEETING : 17 November, 2016, 2 – 3.30 pm