Patient Group Meeting Minutes and Information Sheets

Minutes From Virtual Meeting of Woodlands Patient Group Committee

Earlier copies of minutes and information sheets are available upon request

Held: Tuesday 16th March 2021

On Screen: Stewart Lilly SL (Chair), Flavia Dermot Paddon DP (Secretary), Kathryn Hall (KH) – Practice Manager, Paul Hackwood – Practice Manager, Gaynor Thomas (GT), Wendy Price (WP), Barbara Capps (BC)

  1. Apologies: Lucy Wilson (on vaccination shift). Flavia Leslie sent belated apologies to the Chairman by telephone.
  2. Minutes and Matters arising: The minutes were approved with no modifications.
  3. The Chair noted and thanked the three PPG’s, for all their hard work, which with some support from Healthwatch, had made some progress in getting the health authorities to recognise more clearly the capacity problems in Didcot and surrounds. Following contact with the BOB co-ordinator the OCCG had formally objected to the latest large scale housing planning application at Valley Park, Didcot, clearly stating that existing practices were at capacity and seeking Section 106 contributions.
  4. Woodlands PPG Protocol – AGM/Outlook: As the committee recognised, as a result of the pandemic the 2020 AGM was cancelled. Given the governments Road Map, as currently proposed, all agreed it was time to start considering the opportunity of holding a 2021 AGM later in the year - circa October? Events over the forthcoming weeks will determine.DERMOT PADDON MARCH 2021
  5. The Secretary reminded the committee that they had decided in 2020, on practical grounds, to cease sending newsletter by blind copy email to PG members. Such emailings increasingly resulting in very large numbers of rejections on a variety of grounds. Thus, there was currently no means of communicating directly with PG members other than 1-1.
  6. KH said that the practice could do mass text mailings though could not target solely at PG members. There was a 600-word limit. In discussion it was agreed that this was the right way forward. The text to include a link to the PG pages on the Woodlands website. These pages needed to be reviewed and updated. The actual changes would be undertaken by the website managers. The Chair and Secretary would prepare the necessary materials. The aim would be to issue a text by the end of the month/early April. (Action SL/DP)
  7. Practice Update (Agenda Items 3-6): The vaccination programme had and continued to go well, the only frustration at times was supply shortages. The three practices were working together very effectively. Committee members own individual experiences were positive. Excellent co-ordination of volunteers by Andrea Warren (OakTree Chair) was recognised by all. Though the original programme was to vaccinate 50-year-old and above, they would now be offering jabs to younger age persons (and were already doing younger people with underlying conditions). The second jab programme starts on March 26.
  8. Some services had to be suspended including annual health review other than for those at high risk. The full programme should restart in April. Health DERMOT PADDON MARCH 2021 3 care assistant capacity had increased as part time staff had volunteered to do longer hours, which all respected and expressed their thanks.
  9. Overall, he flu-vaccination programme had gone very well with a higher uptake than was normally the case, not least in the older age groups.
  10. The practice was now also following up on patients whose smear tests were out of date.
  11. Patient numbers at Woodland’s continue to grow. It currently has over 16000 patients; increasing by circa 2000 a year! The increased number of on-line appointments had made this manageable, but this “extra capacity” will run out soon.
  12. The newly installed telephone system had a few early teething problems mainly outages which were sorted promptly. The Secretary said he had used it the previous day. The greeting message had said the system was very busy and offered the option for it to call back keeping the place in the queue. However as there was no indication of the actual size of the queue he had opted to stay. He was then told he was 47th in the queue. However, he was not offered the option of getting a system call back so had cancelled the call and started again. In due course he did indeed get a call asking if he wanted to “re-join” the queue which was chosen. The position was 4th in the queue.
  13. The Secretary suggested that the option to be called back should be offered more than just at the start. Indeed, it would be good if rather than simply saying the system was very busy the caller was told initially at the start its DERMOT PADDON MARCH 2021 4 likely length. PH said he would investigate what could be done to improve this aspect. (Action PH). The Secretary and committee said that the new system was much better than the old.
  14. In response to a question KH said that whilst the new appointment system was working well inevitably, particularly at the start of a week, demand exceeded supply. She said that staff were being supported to ask questions to see if there might be a way of resolving the patient’s needs without speaking to a doctor. This added to the time it took to deal with queries but finding a solution promptly saved the patient from having to call back. The Chairman said that he would like discuss this topic further at next committee, to see how matters are evolving
  15. PH reported that the repairs to the building, following the incident at the start of the year, had completed the day before. The works had gone well to a high standard. There was no sign, even minor, left as a result of the incident at the start of the year.
  16. Committee meetings: It was agreed that the next virtual meeting should be held in late May but would be scheduled nearer the time. (Action SL/DP) Secretary 16 March 202

Held: Wednesday 4 November 2020

On Screen: Stewart Lilly SL (Chair), Flavia Leslie FL (Vice-Chair) Dermot Paddon DP (Secretary), Kathryn Hall (KH) – Practice Manager, Paul Hackwood – Practice Manager, Gaynor Thomas (GT), Wendy Price (WP), Barbara Capps (BC)

  1. Apologies: No apologies received.
  2. Minutes and matters arising: The minutes were approved. The agenda covered any outstanding topics.
  3. Practice Update: Overall the new appointments system was going well. The major issue was the shortage of telephone capacity. This could mean long delays waiting for a member of staff to pick up. Procurement of a new system (Voice over Internet Protocol – VOIP) was in progress but it could take a further 10-12 weeks to install (with some good fortune less) reflecting the nature of procurement and exiting from the current contract.
  4. Also, in the early days there was a significant backlog of routine appointments to clear built up in the weeks before the switch. This had now been cleared. Some patients were being moved to the new doctors to create a balance across the practice. DERMOT PADDON NOVEMBER 2020
  5. The Patients, when their nominated GP was in attendance, were now getting a call back in the session (am or pm) they had called in on. The text sent to patients asking them to make an appointment following test results had been amended to make it clear that the appointment was not urgent and could take place anytime in the following three weeks. Oaktree who used the same system said it took them six months to get it fully operational, so the current state of play appears well on track.
  6. Four new receptionists had been recruited, two had started and the remaining two would start in two weeks’ time. The additional resource would reduce telephone waiting times.
  7. GT asked whether receptionists were required to ask callers the reason for seeking an appointment. KH said yes as that information helped the doctor to be able to focus on the possible causes before starting the call. GT said she was uncomfortable giving private personal information to a non-medical person.
  8. GT asked if the request for medical information could be refused. KH said clearly a patient hasthe absolute right not to give information; but it did help the doctors to appreciate to reason for the call. It could be general (e.g. sore throat, serious headache, severe pain in top of left arm or perhaps gynaecological in which case a female doctor could be allocated the call). The consensus was that providing information was of benefit to both the patient as well as the doctor.
  9. OCCG Update: The Chair reported on an article in the Didcot Herald that morning about the proposed new development opposite the railway station DERMOT PADDON NOVEMBER 2020 3 evidently was to include a health centre – article since circulated. This was news to all. The Chair was following up. {Secretary Note – It has since been established that the report was incorrect and there is no plan to have a new medical centre in the location}
  10. The Chair reported he had been invited to comment on the OCCG estate strategy 2020-2025. This may be relevant to the planned OCCG/HWO/Local government/PPG video conference scheduled for 4 December. On this he noted that its usefulness would depend on who attended from the medical practices. The Chair hoped that the PM’s and representative Doctor would be in attendance.
  11. The three Didcot PG chairs had written jointly to the Vale and South Oxfordshire councils about medical capacity. The response had effectively said the site on GWP was the answer. Note It is not.
  12. Surgery catchment area and patient growth: The position was noted. Resolution needed effective and timely decisions on the additional medical practice required in the area. HWO are making enquiries also.
  13. FLU Vaccination Programme 2020: This was going well with over 2000 vaccinations so far and a further major clinic this coming Saturday (7 November). LW had advised that the practice was awaiting to know if there would be enough vaccines for the “well” 50-64 age group.
  14. Info Sheets etc and Publicity: The committee had previously noted the positive response from local media, parish newsletters, Facebook groups to the material we had produced both at practice and network level. The DERMOT PADDON NOVEMBER 2020 4 Secretary said that sending material blind copy to PG members was proving increasingly problematic because of incorrect (for whatever reason) emails, and dislike of receiving blind copies creating significant administration. The committee agreed to cease the issuing of Info-sheets by this method.
  15. The Chair and Secretary would consider if there was currently enough material for a further circulation before Christmas.
  16. PG Finances: The Chair reported that the paperwork allowing control of the PG finances to pass to the Chair and Treasurer had been completed. 17.Committee meetings: The next virtual meeting was scheduled for 10:00 on 6 January 2021 Secretary 6 November 202

Earlier copies of minutes and information sheets are available upon request