PPG Meeting Minutes: 13th October 2022




Date: 13th October 2022

Location: Station Medical Centre


  • Marcia Martin
  • Sharon Matthews
  • Dr Tristan Jones
  • L T
  • P T
  • T S
  • D J
  • C M
  • L T
  • A S
  • C B
  • L M
  • H P
  • J P
  • B H


  • Dr Andy Hargraves
  • Ceri Chaplin
  • S M
  • F D
  • S T
  • A L
  • H H
  • D K
  • P G
  • F T
  • P B
  • N C
  • S S

1. Welcome and introduction to Sharon Matthews, PALS Officer (MM/SM)

  • MM welcomed and thanked everyone for coming. MM introduced SM, who then gave an overview on her new role as Patient Advice and Liaison Service Officer. SM explained that the role was there to support patients via complaints, patient feedback, improving their experience through engagement

2. Role of the PPG including structure (Chair person & Secretary), Terms of Reference (SM)

  • SM shared a Question she had received which was “is the PPG any more than a CQC tick box exercise?" SM went on to share how important their views and experiences are in service improvement from a patient’s perspective. It was discussed how PPG members can be involved at the surgery in a number of ways which were discussed later in the meeting.
  • SM discussed with the group that PPGs should have a formal structure including a Chairperson, Deputy Chairperson and secretary and invited any PPG members to consider if they would be interested in any of these roles and if so to let SM know via email in time for the next meeting. – I have printed an example for you but can forward a copy to you all via email following this meeting and if you could let me know if you think anything should be added/amended that would be very helpful.
  • SM also shared the need for a Terms of Reference which helps set out what our general objectives for the PPG are. SM gave a draft copy to all members to read at their leisure and to feedback their thoughts,  amendments or additions.
  • SM also disucssed what the PPG is not for – according to NHS guidelines – a PPG is not a forum for individual complaints or single issue campaigns. These should be addressed via the appropriate processes in the Practice. All members seemed to be amenable to this understanding.

3. Current situation – appointments, new structure (GPs & SM)

  • SM & MM explained that the majority of complaints relate to inaccessibility and availability of routine appointments. It was discussed that unfortunatley this is a problem most if not all GP surgeries are struggling with. Since the Pandemic patient demand has increased hugely but without us having the same increase in resource (ie GPs). The PPG members were assured that this was a priority for our operational  management team who are looking to address this problem.
  • MM went on to explain the issue of a national shortage of GP and we do have an ongoing recruitment campaign but due to a number of factors this isn’t a quick fix situation. She discussed the new structure of urgent on the day appointments and how we have seen a positive impact from this.
  • Statistics – We didn’t have chance to discuss the appointment figures but these are attached to the email with the minutes.

4. New Staff members and ongoing recruitment

  • MM explained our ongoing recruitment campaigns including that for GPs along with the challenges recruitment poses especially in our county.

Questions from PPG

1. Is there a gap between how we think we are perceived and how we are actually seen?

SM sent this as a question to a number of staff and the overall feeling is that, yes, there probably is a gap and that the staff at HMG feel they work very hard and try to the do the best with the current resource. We understand that we are struggling, due to shortage of staff and an increase on demand since the pandemic. We do listen to any trends in complaints and the appointment access problem as mentioned is a huge
problem and is being looked at in detail by our Operational Management team to improve the process and address this.

Examples below:

  • "I do believe the perception differs. My view is we are doing the best we can with that rescources we have"
  • " Being new to the Uk, I’ve found that the NHS is generally viewed negatively. Folk in my village still want to be seen by “their doctor” and feel wait times are too long. However, I have found my local surgeyr helpful and prompt. I think if people stop to analyse their personal experience rather that follow the generalised negative mindset, surgeries may have a better reputation"
  • " A tricky question, I think on the whole many of our patients know how hard we work and how busy we are. When patients get frustrated they can often suggest that we are hard to contact or get an aponitment with. It is difficutl for people to realise that this is universal in helathcare at present as they only have experience with us. Some patients will always think the worst"
  • "It is difficult to gauge, as an organisation we hear and see(on social media) a lot of negativity, which is difficult for staff to read when they are working hard to improve processes and deliver goot patient care, with limited resources due to the national recruitment situation and increased demand. HMG team are innovative and trying to improve the patient journey, my feeling is that our reputation is starting to improve but will take a long trime due to the big change patients had to adapt to without tryly understanding the reasons and need."

2. Is the CQC any more than a CQC tick box exercise?

(Response as above in item 2) SM said that initially, when PPGs were introduced there was probably a partial thought that yes they were! However, more and more we have come to understand the importance
and value of patient input and participation especially in recent years.

3. Could the PPG help more practically for example in reception to ease bottleneck situations and navigate patients (SM & MM)

Definitely! This was widely discussed with the group and there were examples of volunteering in reception at busy times to navigate patients round the building, assist when patients are unable to login via the screen, volunteer at vaccination clinics such as Flu including car park flow management. The potential to be more involved in producing the patient letter was also discussed and our Communications Manager will be invited to the next meeting. It was agreed that there are lots of ways in which the PPG can add value to the service we provide and we will discuss some of these in more detail and hope to plan at the next meeting. In the meantime SM has encouraged PPG members to forward any ideas to her.

4. Website layout

MM suggested that a members of the PPG could meet with our Communications Officer to discuss the issues and make suggestions. Could you let me know if you would be interested in this.

5. Continuity of care (LM)

LM shared her thoughts regarding the lack of continuity of care at the Practice. This was widely discussed and Dr Tristan Jones explained that he understood the concerns this raised, that it is difficult to provide this given the sheer size



Statement from Ceri Chaplin, Managing Partner regarding Credenhill:

Credenhill Surgery

Over the last 2.5 years we’ve had to concentrate services at the city centre sites to provide cover and we recognise that this has meant Credenhill surgery has been used less than in previous years and continue to review the use of our estate


Date of next meeting: January 2023