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A small group of patients, our Patient Reference Group (PRG), chaired by Mr Stan Grierson, meets regularly to discuss issues about our services. We will keep you informed about them through this website and by a paper newsletter which will be available in the surgery waiting rooms and from our receptionists. The group’s members are drawn from both sexes and from a range of ages, ethnicities, occupations and lifestyles.
All registered patients may also join our Online Patient Reference Group by clicking on the link below and following the instructions for joining the blog:
PRG Meeting 19 March 2013
1. The Practice Nurse vacancy will continue to be filled by a locum as the appointed candidate was unable to take it up for personal reasons. The practice's nursing need will be kept under review.
2. The PRG will discuss and agree a constitution at the next meeting.
3. The PRG Annual Report will be posted on the practice website and circulated as the practice newsletter. It will be used as a basis for further staff training in the forthcoming year.
PRG Meeting 20 February 2013
1. There is now a notice by the reception counter advising patients to stand back untill called by the receptionist. The aim is to protect patients' privacy.
2. The practice website now has a Community Information page.
3. Elizabeth Warren left the practice at the end of January due to family commitments. Patricia Ramsay will be taking up the post from April 2.
4. Dr Khuram Ajmal will be joining the practice as a full time Partner from April 15th.
5. The IPEC National Patient Survey results were discussed. The surgery exceeds the national average rating in several areas. 87% of the patient ratings were good, very good or excellent. There were many favorable comments but also still some dissatisfaction with the new appointments system as some patients would prefer to be able to book appointments in advance without speaking to a doctor or nurse first about their condition. Many patients were keen to be able to order more easily repeat prescriptions online. We will be developing this in the forthcoming year. To further identify key areas for training clinical staff in consultation skills, a Consulting Skills Questionnaire will be used by individual doctors and nurses in the next two to three months.
6. The Online Patient Forum is now live and piggybacked to the main practice website. A patient has already registered. Summary Care Records will be the first subject for a blog.
PRG Meeting 17 January 2013
1. A stand has been ordered for the reception area to advise patients to stand back and allow those at the reception desk a degree of privacy to discuss issues.
2. An online Patient Reference Group open to the entire registered patient list at the practice is being developed.
3. Two items were received in the Sugeestions Box: one complimented Mrs Jan Taboada on the help she gave a patient ceasing smoking, the second recommended more eye contact by the receptionists.
4. The number of missed appointents has reduced by two thirds, as have calls to the out of hours service, since the Doctor First appointments system began in June.
PRG Meeting 11 December 2012
1. Mrs Anne Hewitt has been appointed Practice Manager, to commence 7 January 2013. Mrs Hewitt has a background in nursing and senior management in the private sector and in the NHS.
2. We have been unable to recruit a suitable Practice Nurse to replace Elizabeth Warren, who will be leaving at the end of January. The post is being readvertised.
3. Our flu programme has immunised a very high number of patients this year and we have been complimented by the Primary Care Trust on this achievement. Over 2000 vaccines were administered, and one hundred more have been ordered from the government's strategic reserve.
4. A patient education evening was held in the surgery on7 November. Over seventy patients attended the event, which was chaired by Thomas Macarthur of Chiltern Prostate Cancer Support Group. They were able to obtain advice from Hilary Baker, Macmillan uro-oncology specialist nurse at Wycombe Hospital and from Joe Keirney, Macmillan Uro-oncology specialist nurse based in Aylesbury. The Chilterns Prostate Cancer Support Group can be contacted by ringing 01494 426020 and asking for Krystyna or Pam. A patient education evening on dementia is planned for December 23rd. The Alzheimer's Society will be present. We hope to invite the Stroke Association to an evening in the New Year.
5. It was agreed that we should not proceed with a Health Unlocked patient blog. A WordPress blog has been set up for activation in the New Year. The blog will only be open to registered patients and will be moderated. Patients will be encouraged to use fictitious usernames to log in, although their identity will need to be verified by the practice. We will not be able to give specific clinical advice or address individual complaints on the blog.
6. Information about Summary Care Records has been sent out to patients by the Health Authority. It was agreed that it is a good idea for information about patients' current medication and allergies to be available to other healthcare providers who may see the patient.
7. A marker line behind which patients should queue in reception has been recomeended by a PRG member, to increase privacy for patients talking to the receptionist. This will be installed.
8. At the request of a PRG member, we will collect information about activities for older patients in the area and post information or a link on our website.
9. A PRG member reported that the provision of hearing aid batteries at Flackwell Heath Day Centre has generally been well received and is appreciated by patients.
PRG Meeting on 2 October 2012
1. The patient survey is in progress.
2. Patients ringing for appointments in peak hours will have the option of being re-routed to an answerphone if they have to wait more than two minutes for their call to be answered.
3. Practice Manager recruitment is due to start, with a full time post to be advertised.
4. The practice has received funding from Chiltern CCG to offer all patients over the age of sixty years the opportunity to have a brief ECG recording taken and answer questions about symptoms when they attend the flu clinic. The aim is to identify patients who have atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart rate which may predispose to stroke, breathlessness, dizziness and falls, with a view to offering treatment to reduce this risk. The practice will be working with Docobo, a national telehealth company.
5. Dr King attended the Chiltern CCG public meeting held in Bourne End in September. A link to the presentation made at the meeting can be found here:
PRG Meeting on 4 September 2012
1. Following advertisement, shortlisting and interviews we have not recruited a Partner to replace Dr Elias. The post will be re-advertised at a later date.
2. We will shortly be advertising the post of Practice Manager.
3. The appointments system is continuously reviewed. The answering message is now as brief as possibleThere are now only two options to choose from, which makes the system easier for callers to use. Patients are asked to give brief details only of their conditon to reduce the waiting time to be answered for other callers. Monday mornings between 8am and 9.30am are the busiest times. Patients wll be offered the option of leaving a message so that the receptionist can call back if they have waited for 2 minutes for the phone to be answered.
4. We are now conducting an approved general survey of the practice. Patients attending for appointments are asked if they wish to participate and given a questionnaire to be completed and placed in the sealed box on the reception counter before leaving.
5. Invitations to eligible patients for flu vaccination have been sent out this week.
PRG Meeting on 17 July 2012
1. The new appointments system has been running for a month. It was tested on a busy day when only one doctor was available for the whole day and the demand for appointments was met. Patient comments have generally been very positive, as they are happy to be able to discuss issues without actually coming to surgery and are able to have appointments either on the day or on a more convenient date and often also at a suitable time. Appointments can still be prebooked for tests if these have been requested by the GP and GPs are able to prebook follow-up appointments. Call waiting times have reached fifteen minutes at times, and the receptionists are now asking patients to give only a brief summay of the reasons for ringing.
2. Dr King and PRG members will sign onto the Health Unlocked website to assess it.
3. Flu clinics will be held in September and October. The dates will be confirmed and eligible patients will be sent a letter in early September.
4. A PRG member has met with Penny Stanmore, our Reception Manager, to recommend changes in the layout of the reception area which have been implemented.
5. Dr Fraser presented an overview of Prescribing issues. Our prescribing budgets have been frozen for several years and Practices have been asked by the Primary Care Trust to assist in reducing its overspend by making prescribing savings. The Primary Care Trusts Medicines Management Team advises GPs on the most cost-effective treatments. A forum of local GPs meets with the PCT quarterly to review guidelines and raise issues of concern.
A software programme called "Scriptswitch" recommends suitable alternatives as prescriptions are being issued. Switches are also made because of safety concerns and alerts, or due to the withdrawal of a drug for other reasons. A system is in place to ensure that some drugs are monitored by hospital consultants, some jointly by hospital doctors and GPs and others by GPs alone. Targets against local and national benchmarks are set for Practices to reach, for example in the use of antipsychotic medication in dementia, warfarin in atrial fibrillation, and the use of reagents to monitor blood sugar in diabetes.
A proportion of the savings is made available for Practices to spend on improving patient care. Savings have been spent on diagnostic equipment such as home blood pressure and heart rate monitors, air-conditoning for the upstairs waiting room, waiting room toys and developing the new appointments system with an external consultancy.
PRG Meeting on 12 June 2012
1. Eight thousand flyers had been sent to registered paients over sixteen years of age giving information about the Doctor First appointments system to be launched on 18 June. Two PRG members attended a training session on patient involvement with the Practice team prior to the launch of the system and also kindly helped to prepare the mailshot. Dr King thanked the members for their support and help.
2. The Welcome Pack for new patients had been updated and thought by PRG members to be both caring in style and informative.
3. Applications had been received for the post of fourth Partner to replace Dr Elias. The minimum criteria required are an undergraduate medical degree, General Medical Council registration, Membership of the Royal College of General Practitioners, a good grounding in general medical skills and an interest in practice development.
4. A patient survey will be conducted in August. The Department Health recommends surveying 370 patiients, with a predicted response by 250 paients.
5. A survey is planned to take place in the autumn to assess individual clinicians' consultaton skills, to include both doctors and nursing staff.
6. PRG members will test the Health Unlocked website in the next two months before it is made available to the Patient Participation Group.
7. The surgery will be registering with the Care Quality Commission in July.
8. The surgery has an exceptionally large catchment area for patients moving into the area. This has been extended to allow patients to remain registered with the surgery if they move a short distance outside the existing boundary without compromising patient safety. The boundary for new patients moving into the area remains unchanged.
9. The surgery planned to remain open during the BMA Pensions strike.
10. A PRG member will be assisting the receptionists in improving the layout of the reception front desk and working area.
PRG Meeting on 1 May 2012
1. Since the last meeting, a new form for obtaining patient consent to e-mail and text has been developed and is available on the Practice website and as hard copy from the receptionist.
2. There is a new green Suggestions Box next to the reception desk. Forms on which patients may leave their suggestions for improvement are available on the desk below the box. The box will be emptied weekly.
3. Mr Stan Grierson and Dr King attended the first public meeting of the new Chiltern Clinical Commissioning Group on 18 April. Approximately fifty people attended, including patients, GPs, nurses, practice managers and representatives from the voluntary sector. The meeting opened with a presentation by Dr Peter Newman on the Commissioning Group’s role and was followed by a presentation by Mr Piers Simey, from Public Health, on the general organisation and funding of local healthcare services. Those present then participated in small group work on what those present consider to be key areas of health need on which the CCG should focus in future. These will be evaluated by the CCG. There will be approximately three such meetings a year, to be publicly advertised and open to all.
4. We have been working with Productive Primary Care Ltd, a consultancy which has successfully introduced a new appointments management system called Doctor First in several practices. The system aims to ensure that all patients have the opportunity to consult with a doctor by telephone on the day on which they ring to book an appointment and are also seen face to face on that day if needed. We have now assessed how many patients contact us for routine and non-urgent appointments, including home visits, and are confident that with the proposed system we will be able to meet patient needs more efficiently than at present. In the next few weeks, all patients over sixteen years of age will receive a flyer telling them how the new system works, and the information will also be posted on this website and circulated as press releases. The new system is scheduled to go live on June 18th.
5. Later this year we will be conducting a national patient survey using an approved survey and survey sample. We agreed to use the Client Focussed Evaluation Programmes survey, which we believe presents questions and answers in simplified layout. Once those results are back, they will be published on the practice website. We will then conduct surveys on specific areas of concern by mail and via a Health Unlocked site which will be linked to this website.
PRG Meetings on 7 February and 13 March 2012
1. The Patient Reference Group agreed to continue to meet regularly to assist the practice in engaging with patients and obtaining feedback with regard to patient services and to plan for the future. The group will focus on patient needs. At the meetings, we discussed a wide range of issues, which are detailed below.
2. It was confirmed that the last clinic at 17 Straight Bit, Flackwell Heath will be on Friday 30 March 2012 and that patients living in the Flackwell Heath postcode area had been informed about this change in writing and asked for their views.
3. One of the many useful suggestions made was that we should be open as usual and not only for emergencies during lunchtime. Our reception staff were keen to improve this situation and as a result of their co-operation we are now open at Loudwater from 1-2pm.
4. The closure of the branch surgery provides an opportunity for us to develop services for all of our patients. A priority area is that of access to care. Our current appointments system is no longer serving this purpose. In addition approximately 70 patients do not keep pre-booked appointments each week. We have been working with Productive Primary Care Ltd, a consultancy with experience in improving GP appointment systems and have now collected data on what sorts and numbers of appointments are requested by patients and how many are actually available, with a view to calculating how many we should be providing to meet the need. We aim to put in place a new system in the summer and will keep the PRG and all our patients informed of proposed changes. Patients will be surveyed on access in the autumn after the system has been in place for a few months.
5. We conducted a reception customer satisfaction survey on ten percent of our patients who had pre-booked appointments in December. An overwhelming majority were satisfied with the care they received from our receptionists at the time. We agreed with the PRG that we will expand this survey to include a larger sample of patients with and without appointments later in the year.
6. The PRG also discussed a range of developments which we aim to introduce and which are based around information technology. We now have an easy-to-use and quick, automated check-in stand just inside the front door at Loudwater Surgery for you to use if you have a pre-booked appointment.
7. An online Patient Participation Group link will be added to this website later this year, through which people will be able to respond to practice blogs and surveys.
8. We are collecting patient contact information so that we can e-mail you non-clinical information such as the Practice newsletter and information about special clinics such as those for flu and also send you an automated text reminder about booked appointments. The automated text reminder system will be introduced with the new appointments system. Forms are available from reception and online. Please note we will need a signed hard copy form which you may post us or leave with our receptionist.
9. The practice trialled the Choose and Book system of booking patients hospital appointments online a few years ago and then decided not to continue to use it because the system in place was causing more annoyance and frustration for patients instead of streamlining the process. Buckinghamshire Primary Care Trust has assured us that the system has been greatly improved and we are therefore now trialling it again. On occasion we have been able to book patients directly into a hospital appointment and give them a date and time to attend. The system can sometimes be very slow and may not have appointment slots provided at all at patients’ preferred hospitals. If it looks as if the system is not going to work as intended, the doctor may recommend that it should be abandoned in favour of an old-fashioned paper-based referral and appointment.
10. Our Practice Manager, Neil Carter, is investigating the use of palm-held devices which can be used with our clinical system and taken on home visits by doctors and our Community Matron, Ann Burrows.
11. Neil Carter is also researching online prescription ordering systems which display repeat medication lists so that patients do not have to type in drugs names and doses on the existing website order form.
12. Mr Grierson attended the public meeting organised by Steve Baker MP on the proposed changes at Wycombe and Stoke Mandeville Hospitals. He reported that these were not supported by the majority of the one hundred or so people in the room.
Posted on: 27 March 2012
Cherrymead Surgery, High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire - Telephone - 01494 445150