PPG Minutes - Nov 2023

27th Dec 2023

Wednesday 29th November 2023 6:30 pm


PPG: Helen Price (Chair) - HP, Sarah Coe - SCo, Faye Godfrey - FG, Derek Jerome - DJ,Alison Allen (minutes)- AA, Lin Marsh (LM)

WHMP: Beth Needham (Dispensary Manager) - BN, Angie Sammut (Practice Manager) - AS


Agenda Item



Welcome and Apologies


Approval of minutes from previous meetings


  • Decision: Approval of the minutes from the meeting held on 6th September was proposed and seconded with no amendments.


Matters Arising


Election of secretary for WHMP PPG


  • Decision: AH was confirmed as PPG Secretary. 
  • Due to unavoidable absence, AA agreed to take notes for this meeting.


  • Discussion: The current process for drafting of minutes through to publication on the website was discussed.
  • Decision: The secretary to continue to share the draft minutes with the chair. The chair will send to most senior member of practice at meeting for suggested amendments/correction of errors. Those changes will be sent back to the Chair before minutes are shared with whole group.


  • This reflects the fact that the meetings are led by the PPG.


Property Update


  • Decision: It was agreed that this subject should be a standing agenda item


  • Discussion: AS confirmed that DOS had not provided an update prior to the meeting, however the space near the Faringdon Tesco site was still being considered.  Various alternative sites have been presented to DOS but the ‘Tesco site’ remains the preferred location currently due to logistical challenges inherent with alternatives.
  • SCo informed the meeting that the council has raised issues regarding the planning permission for the Wane development and queried whether that provided an opportunity for renegotiations for a site to be identified there.  AS confirmed that this was not a viable option as the issue related to the proposed distance between properties and had been resolved.
  • AS confirmed that the practice would no longer be provided immunisation services at the RAC centre with the last CoVid vaccination session at this location taking place on 28th November 2023. [see 3d below]


Closure of Botley and Kennington Surgery – any issues?


  • Discussion AS confirmed that the closure of the Botley and Kennington Surgeries had gone ahead as planned.  507 patients were identified by the ICB for allocation to the WHMP – of whom 499 had registered with the practice.
  • Anecdotally many of these patients were happy with their new surgery although there were some for whom the distance to Faringdon was an issue.  Patients can register with other practices if they would prefer to do so.
  • SCo queried why the practices had closed and AS confirmed that there were capacity challenges with these practices which were impacting on quality and workload issues.  As a result, the partners at these practices had agreed to hand back their NHS contracts.


Autumn CoVid/Flu vaccine programme - update


  • Discussion: AS confirmed that the final CoVid vaccination session provided by the practice took place on 28th November 2023.  Should anyone wish to have a CoVid vaccination from now on they will need to contact 111 or the National Booking Service to arrange for one.  Access to a CoVid vaccination will not be through the WHMP.
  • The practice has decided not to continue to provide services at the RAC centre – the costs of this site were funded through the ICB/centrally during the pandemic, but the costs are now the responsibility of the WHMP and given the lower uptake it did not make financial sense to continue.
  • Should there be a spring campaign the practice would review their position on this.
  • Flu vaccinations will continue to be provided by the WHMP (to appropriate age groups - this includes children aged 2-3 years)


Altogether Better


  • Discussion: Following the presentation on 28th September, HP provided an overview of the concept of an approach to collaborative practice (Altogether Better):
  • To engage the community through practice champions to support people in our community (generally people who aren’t medically unwell but who need support) including sharing lived experience of certain conditions.  Examples included new mothers seeking support, older people wanting company, people with diabetes.
  • Through Altogether Better, the WHMP sent a text to circa 1000 patients asking people to self-nominate to offer support.  ‘Applications’ were then reviewed by the Altogether Better team and a cohort of 30 ‘champions’ were identified.  These people have been invited to an initial session on 30th November 2023.  The session will encourage the champions to identify what they want to offer.
  • In the practice Sarah Oliver – Social Prescriber is the lead for this programme.
  • The programme will ensure that links will be made to existing groups – FG stated that the church had recently established a community group to support people with bereavement.
  • AS and BN informed the group that the WHMP already had support available for various medical and social issues and are planning on an awareness campaign.  Examples provided included:

·         Parkinsons Nurse

·         Dementia Care

·         Blue Badge Support

·         NHS App Drop-in sessions.



  • The role for the PPG is to spread the word about the community champions and Altogether Better.  Action PPG


  • WHMP also are very interested in research. 
  • Among current initiatives are:

·         UTI testing

·         Discover Me



  • AS confirmed, she will make a connection between DJ and Jill Larkin (the new practice Research Nurse Lead).      Action – AS



Engage Consult – Any Updates


  • At the previous meeting the PPG had made some recommendations for improvement to the system / accessibility.



1.Suggestion to amend the practice website to make it clearer on where people need to click to access Engage Consult rather than the NHS App.  

Impact This change has been implemented and should reduce the number of people clicking on the NHS App link in error


2.Suggestion to add statement to Engage Consult informing those accessing the system on a mobile that they need to scroll to the bottom of the page for actions / to continue with the process.

  •  Tom Couzens (Patient Support) will provide support to anyone with any issues or who would benefit from a session on how to use the system / check mobile phone functionality relating to Engage Consult  



  • Impact Discussion BN re-iterated that Engage Consult should not be used for the ordering of REPEAT prescriptions – the NHS App should be used for this.  This is to prevent avoidable errors.
  • Engage Consult can be used to request new medications.


  • The WHMP is participating in the General Practice Improvement Programme (GPIP) – this is a national programme focussing on quality improvement in general practice.  The programme provides the practice will an improvement practitioner to support the practice to identify and improve / streamline processes for both patients and the practice.
  • Key areas of focus currently for WHMP are appropriate appointments and repeat prescribing.
  • DJ confirmed that not all patients requesting repeat prescriptions were sent an email acknowledgement of receipt of the request.  BN confirmed this had been investigated but there was no solution.
  • BN confirmed that the auto response will include a link to the NHS App – informing people how to use it to request prescriptions with an associated video.  This will also be included in the WHMP website.
  • AS confirmed that the plan for the New Year was to run an awareness campaign about the NHS App and promote its benefits for patients.



PSA Testing Policy


  • Discussion [Please see information provided by Dr Masterman circulated with these minutes]
  • There is no national PSA screening programme.  Patients experiencing symptoms are encouraged to contact their GP who will undertake a range of tests.
  • The initial query stemmed from a patient being provided with different responses when speaking to two different practice nurses.



  • AS to share the information with the nursing team to ensure the consistency of messaging.   Action - AS
  • AS to forward email discussion with Dr Masterman to HP so the email can be forwarded to PPG.  Action – AS



Items for Discussion


Confirmation of Membership and Communications


  • As the newly appointed Chair HP is keen to review membership and ensure that all members have received a copy of the Terms of Reference (TORs) for the group.
  • There are currently 17 names of members of the group but significantly fewer attend / regularly attend the meetings.
  • The intention is that The ToR’s will be amended to include a section where members are asked to confirm their continued membership and participation in the group.
  • This section will also request that members provide an email address and confirm that they are happy for it to be used in relation to the business of the PPG.  The email addresses will not be shared outside of the PPG, AS and MC.
  • The original “slidedeck” produced by AS to support the establishment of the group two years ago will also be shared to support members making an informed decision about continued membership.


  • AS to share the original slidedeck with HP    Action   AS


  • HP to share the ToRs, Slidedeck and draft minutes with all current members of the PPG             Action HP


Election of secretary for WHMP PPG


  • [See section 3a]


Altogether Better


  • [See section 3e]


Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire and Berkshire West (BOB) ICB – Getting involved


  • HP shared a link to a portal (Website) that BOB ICB have developed through which to encourage people living in the areas the opportunity to get involved in the work that the system is doing.
  • “We want to give everyone the opportunity to get involved and help shape the future of health and care in Buckinghamshire, Oxfordshire, and Berkshire West. This is your chance to have your say on all sorts of projects and proposals that interest you. Share 'Your Voice' and get involved in our engagement and consultation activities.”
  • HP interested to learn from other PPGs about how they manage the communications across PPG memberships.  AS suggested that HP explores the support available through the National Association for Patient Participation (NAPP -  National Association for Patient Participation – Welcome to the National Association for Patient Participation (napp.org.uk))


  • The PPG to consider what / if there is a role for the PPG to input into this engagement platform 
  • Action PPG




SCo – Appointments

  • Discussion: There are people attending the Elderly Drop-In Centre who find the WHMP approach to only allowing on the day appointments difficult / distressing.
  • Many of these people would like the opportunity to arrange for family members to take them to appointments and / or attend appointments with them but when family is some distance away it is not possible to make these arrangements when they can only make an appointment on the day.
  • This issue doesn’t only impact on the elderly but working age people are also expressing dissatisfaction with not being able to make non urgent appointments in advance as it is difficult to make work adjustments to work commitments ‘on the day’.


  • AS confirmed that this would be raised at the Partners meeting on the 19th December and explore the potential of a hybrid approach – possibly utilising locum capacity to deliver advanced appointments.
  • Action - AS


Sco – Appointments    

  • Discussion: A concern was raised following distress caused to an elderly lady waiting for 20-25 minutes on the phone to make an appointment.  The patient was unable to keep holding on and instead went to reception where they were told that they had to phone for an appointment.  The receptionist initially refused to make an appointment even after being told that this method had been tried.
  • AS agreed, that this shouldn’t happen and confirmed that the team have been advised to use ‘common sense’.
  • AS asked that if situations like this occur then she will speak to the member of staff – but she needs to know the name of the individual to do this.


  • AS to speak to reception team and remind them of the process.
  • Action AS


GP availability on Website

  • Impact: DJ thanked AS for adding the days that GPs work to the website – acknowledging that sometimes a GP may be off sick / on leave or on triage duty and may not be available for appointments on that day.


Role of the Physician’s Associate

  • Discussion: SCo asked about the role of the Physicians Associate and whether it was always clear to a patient that they are not GPs.
  • This should be the case, but this was not always explicitly stated.
  • AS is planning on creating a wall of ‘who is who’ as you enter the surgery – this will include photos and names of all the team members and the intention is for it to be colour coded too to help patients.



  • Discussion SCo questioned whether it might be possible for the care coordinators / Social Prescribers to do some outreach support at the drop-in Centre


  • AS to link with Sarah Oliver to explore this    
  • Action AS


Protected Learning Time (PLT)

  • Discussion: The purpose of the PLT was queried – this is half a day when practices close to support mandatory training, GP updates, process improvement.
  • During this time patients are directed through 111.
  • The next session is the afternoon of the 28th of February 2024 – notification must be promoted, and this will be at the practice, through the website and Facebook etc.
  • These session benefit patients and the practice team alike.


Prescription Process

  • Discussion FG raised an issue of where one of the chemists in Faringdon state that they have not received a prescription from the practice and asked what the patient could do.
  • BN confirmed that all electronic prescriptions are tracked – and each have a unique code.
  • The patient can ask the chemist to track the status – having the unique ID or your NHS number will help.
  • If in doubt the WHMP dispensing team can review the status.
  • If there is still an issue, then the chemist can phone the dispensary.



Community Pharmacy Consultation Service (CPCS)

  • AS flagged, that through Engage Consult it is possible for patients to be referred to the community pharmacy for an appointment – they can see many minor conditions and prescribe for them.
  • This is a national programme.


Date of Next Meeting


Wednesday 21st February 2024 – 6.30pm

Venue – WHMP


Note – Please arrive promptly before 6.30 to avoid access issues