1. WELCOME AND APOLOGIES:
Patients: Nori Graham, Jonny Bucknell, Maria Constantinidou, Brian Harding, Gill Walt, Mimi Colahan, Isky Gordon, Kirsten de Keyser, Gordon Meen, Patricia Langton (Queen’s Crescent PPG Vice Chair)
Staff: Sarah Worboys, Jonathan Levy, Becky Jago
APOLOGIES: Veronica Brinton, Jill Fraser, Kathy Graham Harrison, Angela Mcrobbie, Donatella Soldi.
2. POSSIBLE MERGING OF QUEEN’S CRESCENT AND JAMES WIGG PRACTICES
This was presented by Sarah Worboys, Jonathan Levy and Patricia Langton.
The two practices share the back office function, are both served by the same admin team and receptionists. However they do not yet share an electronic system. At present there are two electronic systems working simultaneously, which is time consuming and clumsy. However the two systems would eventually be merged, making it more fluid, and giving doctors more time for their patients.
James Wigg offers many services which Queen’s Crescent has always been able to use.
Partnerships would remain the same, as would the buildings. The hope is that patients would be able to go to Queen’s Crescent if that was more convenient for them and vice versa.
A patient engagement process will be introduced in the autumn, in the form of a formal application going out to all patients, who would be asked to comment. Patients unable to access computers or the internet will be taken into account. It is hoped that the merger might take place in the New Year.
The benefits and disadvantages of merging were discussed:
- The Queen’s Crescent PPG is very keen to join with the James Wigg PPG.
- The Queen’s Crescent (with a population of 7000 patients) has a small PPG membership, and has been running for three years. The James Wigg (with a population of 20000 patients) has a PPG membership of over 100 and has been running in its current form since 2014.
Both practices have a mixture of ethnicity and deprivation, although Queen’s Crescent is in the second most deprived area of Camden and the James Wigg practice include some more affluent areas.
It was agreed that if issues specific to either practice were to crop up, the PPG could split into two groups to discuss them, but it was thought that this would probably not occur, and that both practices’ concerns would be similar.
Action: Gill and Mimi to take forward with Jill and Patricia.
3. COMPLAINTS PROCEDURE & PROCESSES
The process of making complaints was described. Currently all complaints (letters, emails, telephone and in person) are dealt with by Becky Jago, who responds within 28 days. There is an average of ten complaints per month. Half can be dealt with over the phone, the rest have to be investigated.
- Telephone system: In response to many complaints about the telephone system, the call back system has now been switched off, and the message is shorter.
- Prescriptions: complaints were centred on the fact that the prescriptions often do not get through to the pharmacies. The biggest frustration was the difficulty in contacting the pharmacies.
Action: A request was made that the PPG gets a report back on a regular basis on the number of complaints, types, and resolutions. It was also suggested that a follow up from the practice would be welcome, to see if the patient was satisfied.
4. PPG ACTIVITIES
- PPG members meeting with reception staff: The plan is to hold conversations for about one hour, with two or three PPG members and 7-8 reception staff, face to face, ongoing every two to three months, starting in October 2021. PPG members are asked to email Gill or Mimi at [email protected] expressing an interest and indicating availability.
- Weekly sessions on advance care planning/end of life planning: similar to the CAB advice offered to patients, a PPG volunteer, Prof Isky Gordon, has offered to meet referred patients to discuss advance care planning. These will be weekly sessions, which would last for around 45 minutes. These sessions could be up and running from October. It was agreed that in the longer run it might be necessary for more volunteers to be trained to offer this service.
- Coronavirus: James Wigg has been collaborating with other practices to provide Coronavirus vaccines and 125,000 have been offered to date. At the time of the meeting the government had not agreed the booster programme.
- Flu: the practice is poised to deliver, but the vaccine has yet to arrive.
- Some patients are unable to use technology, or are visually or physically impaired, making it difficult for them to participate. These patients must be helped individually, as for the time being.
- FreeSpace will be having an open event at 15.30 on 14th September 2021, in the garden at James Wigg. This event will be sponsored by Tesco. All PPG members are invited to attend.
7. NEXT MEETINGS (tbc)
18 November 2021; 27 January; 24 March; 19 May; 7 July; 22 September; 24 November 2022.