1. WELCOME AND APOLOGIES
Patients: Gill Walt (Chair), Mimi Colahan (Vice Chair), Jill Harbord, Judy Hildebrand, Kirsten de Keyser, Nori Graham, Jonny Bucknall, Kathy Graham Harrison, Robert Graham Harrison, Millie Kieve, Isky Gordon.
Staff: Dilini Kalupahana, Sarah Worboys.
APOLOGIES: Ian Critchley
Dr Sarah Worboys, who will be taking over as link doctor, was welcomed, and Dr Dilini Kalupahana, who was link doctor, was thanked for all her help.
2. PRESENTATION OF SMALL STUDY OF PATIENT EXPERIENCE DURING LOCKDOWN
Gill Walt presented a small study undertaken by members of the PPG aiming to capture the experience of a few James Wigg patients during lockdown.
Twenty patients who had been in touch with the practice were interviewed by 5 PPG members. Questions were asked regarding the telephone system and access, e-consult, and communication.
The overall conclusion was that for this very small group of patients, the practice met their needs, although not always as smoothly as they would have liked. Telephone consultations were found very acceptable, and the great majority of patients found the consultation with the doctor highly satisfactory.
Given that poor communication was a clearly identified issue in this particular study, attention needs to be given to the way patients understand the working of the practice in the future. For example, some patients feel that there will be no chance for face to face consultations; others fear that the telephone consultations will be shorter and less satisfactory than they were under lockdown, and that there will be a return to waiting for a long time to talk to a doctor. There are also questions about the extent to which patients have access to the internet and are able to use the e-consult form, among others. Is there a role for the PPG to play in helping inform and communicate with patients?
Kirsten de Keyser suggested a one page fact sheet describing how the practice will be functioning in the future, and Sarah Worboys who is medicine and pharmacy lead, agreed that communication between Pharmacies, GPs and patients should be worked on.
3. FEEDBACK FROM THE PRACTICE
- Operations Manager Sarah McDonagh is leaving the practice, and JW is recruiting for a replacement.
- The end of the GP trainee rotation is approaching. New trainees start induction beginning of August, and will be in post beginning of September.
- New foundation doctors will be starting supervised by GPs.
- Dr Agathou is being replaced by Dr Billington
- An advanced paramedic practitioner is in post, and another one is being recruited.
- One clinical pharmacist is on maternity leave, one new senior pharmacist will be starting 5 days a week, one senior pharmacist starting 2 days a week alongside existing junior pharmacist
- A new post, Health and Wellbeing Coach, is being created to work alongside Sharon Gordon.
Testing: swabs and blood
- Swabs: for active infection. These can be done at home, or by the Covid Hub which has now closed its clinic. It is also easy to access the National testing system, by phone, on 119. DIY kits are also available for self-use at home.
- Blood: Antibody blood tests are more complicated. The JW can arrange to have them done, but the problem is in the interpretation. Asymptomatic patients have had positive results and symptomatic patients have had negative ones Neither test is very reliable, and it is not known to what extent or for how long the antibodies will protect.
- PPE: JW has enough for the time being, and is being reimbursed for the equipment they are getting at present, but does not know for the future. It is the rule that masks and hand sanitizer should be used by all patients entering the surgery, and by reception staff, but this is not being enforced, and is not being practiced by all.
Patient contact with practice:
Triage is mandatory before face to face consultations. Patients access the practice by:
- Face to face: is becoming more frequent, but only after speaking to a clinician.
- e-consult: many patients are now using the e-consult form before speaking to a doctor, who then has access to the information provided on the form, and which goes into the patients’ notes. However, there are a few occasions which the e-consult algorithm suggests are more urgent, and advises patients that the information provided will not be kept, and that they should speak to a doctor, which means phoning the practice again.
Flu vaccination: an order has already been put in for the vaccine, but it is possible that it might be offered to over 50s, in which case there would be a problem about quantity. How flu vaccination will be organized and delivered is being discussed throughout the borough and is not yet decided.
Research involving JW patients:
- Linkage study
- Covid related Studies (Lung screening @ UCLH and Loss of smell and taste study)
Garden: Ian Critchley is keeping the garden flourishing, but is looking for volunteers to help, for maybe an hour or less, a week. It is important to remember that gardening is very relaxing and good for health!
Shielding Art Project: FreeSpace is providing shielding patients with art boxes and weekly creative activities illustrating the impact shielding has had on them. Their work will be exhibited at KTHC. PPG members have been helping in the delivery and collecting.
5. HEALTHWATCH CAMDEN HOSTS Q & A WITH ROYAL FREE AND UCH
This will be on Tuesday 4th August 5.30 – 6.30 pm., via ZOOM. Registration via the email sent to all PPG members.
The new larger North Central London Clinical Commissioning Group, the result of the merging of Camden, Islington, Barnet, Enfield and Haringey commissioning groups, took over in April. As a consequence, there is more distance between JW and the commissioners, there are no longer locality meetings, less contact, and information no longer flows so smoothly. New roles have been created, old roles discarded. So far there is no patient representation at NCL level, although it is being introduced, and Camden is continuing with patient engagement at level of the borough.
NEXT MEETING WILL BE ON 24th SEPTEMBER 2020.