1. WELCOME AND APOLOGIES:
Patients: Gill Walt (Chair), Mimi Colahan (Vice Chair), Judy Hildebrand, Kirsten de Keyser, Nori Graham, Isky Gordon, Veronica Brinton, Jonny Bucknell, Kathy Graham-Harrison, Tony Gardner-Medwin, Graham Lang, Patricia Langton
Staff: Sarah Worboys, Stephen Yaxley
2. MATTERS ARISING:
- Following discussion, the James Wigg website was amended, and the long off-putting notice on the front page was removed.
- Telephone message: This is still a long two minutes, but is in the process of being refined. It should be noted that by choosing 3 as an option at the start of this message, you will be put through straight away to the waiting list for a receptionist.
- A queue busting system exists: if you are more than 8th in the waiting list, you are offered an option to hang up and be called back when you are no. 1 or 2. You will be called back up to 2 times, and then sent a text if no answer.
- The number of calls has increased in 2021 from those in 2020.
- eConsult form. Although there were a number of complaints from the Camden wide PPG Forum, the number of patients using this service is increasing. The practice is in discussion with the developers about refining the form.
3. CPPEG FORUM ON 9th FEBRUARY 2021 FEEDBACK:
Kathy Graham-Harrison reported back on the PPG Forum, attended by 60 people. The most important topics were:
- Update on the Covid vaccination: On that date (9.2.21) 200 000 vaccinations had been given in North Central London to all care home staff and residents, and all those in cohort 1 – 4 had been offered vaccinations ahead of the deadline. Attempts continue to be made to contact ‘hard to reach groups’, i.e. rough sleepers, asylum seekers, etc.
- Plans for primary health care recovery: work continues looking at the balance between remote electronic consultations and face to face, as remote consultations do not work for all. There needs also to be a balance between routine patients (making sure that they don’t store up problems for after) and those with urgent needs.
- Gill Walt presented the experience of the PPG working with BARA, the local residents’ association and Universal Dry Cleaners, in responding to the urgent need for PPE (personal protective equipment) for health workers at the beginning of the first lockdown. The local community responded by donating fabric, making masks and scrubs, and Yani Zertalis from Universal Dry Cleaners coordinated the collection and delivery of masks and scrubs.
- Mental Health service recovery and acute hospital services beyond Covid are also being looked at.
4. ISSUES RAISED BY PATIENTS:
- Patient Access to medical records: Patient access appears to have a few glitches, and it was suggested that the NHS App was easier and more efficient than using the patient access (Emis) system. As well as dealing with prescriptions, it is connected to e-consult, and work is under way to allow an increased amount of medical data to be available to patients on the App. It is also being planned to include test results soon.
- Repeat prescriptions: A number of problems were discussed, and concern expressed that information given out on repeat prescriptions was not always accurate or up to date. This will be checked with the pharmacists at the practice.
- Catchment area: It is possible to register as an ‘out of area patient’. However, certain services such as home visits, or Camden community services may not then be available. Patients who move or change their address might be warned about this, and can be asked to register elsewhere. However, each situation is considered on a case by case basis, and the patient and clinician (named doctor) should discuss this together. There is no limit to the practice taking on more patients: this brings more resources to the practice and the possibility of employing more staff.
- Long Covid recovery plan: Continued symptoms after 12 weeks of the initial infection are considered ‘long Covid’. A local service in conjunction with UCHL together with psychiatrists, physiotherapists, etc. has been established. Criteria are being set for those who can be referred. There is also a home monitoring for oxygen levels for high risk patients over a certain age, with certain Covid symptoms, and a certain level of severity. Patients get a series of monitoring phone calls after 6 weeks from clinicians to see who needs further monitoring
5. REPORT BACK FROM PRACTICE:
- Staff: The managing partner is now Dr Dilini Kalupahana. Most junior doctors were redeployed around Christmas to work with Covid patients in hospitals, but they are now returning to the practice.
- Vaccination programme: There has been a lower uptake, despite standardised invitations, from certain groups. A pilot study on 4th February at the Queens Crescent practice showed that a hyper local personalised approach encouraged better uptake. However, it was very labour intensive and time consuming, corresponding to 37minutes of GP time per patient. There is a lot of misinformation about the vaccine among certain groups. As far as is known, the second dose of the vaccine will be delivered within 12 weeks from the first.
- Consensus study: Some patients have been approached by Public Health England to give blood over a two year period, to test antibody response to the vaccination.
- Appointments system: The practice is looking at the system of making appointments with a view to making changes, and requested the PPG’s help in gathering patients’ views on what they like or dislike about the current system. It was agreed a short survey would be sent out via Survey Monkey to the PPG Email list, and suggested that a few PPG members might approach other patients to garner more views.
Next PPG meeting on ZOOM on May 13th 2021.