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PATIENT PARTICIPATION GROUP

Dear Patient,

What is the PPG?

The Ryalls Park Patient Participation Group (PPG) is a partnership between us the patients, the medical practitioners, pharmacy management and practice management of the Ryalls Park Medical Centre.

 

What is the PPG for?

The PPG ensures the voice of the patient is heard when decisions are made about how the Practice is run, how current services are provided and what new or additional services should be provided in the future.

The PPG is concerned not just with medical treatments and the provision of medicines, essential though they are.  We are also concerned about the whole patient experience from making the appointment, arrival and check-in at reception, waiting times and receiving your treatment and medicine.

 

What can we, the patients, do? 

As patients, it’s obviously in our interests that Ryalls Park becomes the best medical centre it can be.  The PPG provides a route for patients to inform and advise the Practice on what matters most to patients and to help identify solutions to problems.  In short, we need to contribute to the continuous improvement of the practice. 

The medical staff and management of the Practice want to hear from us. We need to say what is most important to us, what problems there may be and to help identify solutions.

If you are interested in joining the PPG, wish to make a comment or suggestion or would simply like some more information please call the practice or email us on mail@contactmyppg.co.uk

 

Great ideas come when we all work together

Yours sincerely

John Falconer

Chairman Ryalls Park PPG

 

Ryalls Park practice under pressure from patients - access to GP appointments becomes increasingly difficult

During the autumn and winter of 2017/18 many patients found the process of booking an appointment to see a GP almost impossible.  Call waiting times were far too long and even when patients got through to the reception staff the day's appointments were often fully booked.  The practice admitted it was unable to keep up with patient-demand and, encouraged by the PPG, issued a public statement on Facebook setting out the problems and requesting the understanding of patients.  

The response was very positive.  Most patients appreciated being told about the difficulties the practice was experiencing and did their best to seek an appointment only when absolutely necessary.  Whilst the PPG fully supports the practice being candid with patients it is clear that the underlying problems must be fixed.  Essentially this means making available more appointments.  The practice maintains it requires more funding to offer additional appointments.  NHS Somerset acknowledge that budgets are under pressure but believe that by being more efficient the practice can do better with existing funds. 

The PPG's view is that increased funding for Ryalls Park (and the other Yeovil practices) is necessary in order to bring about a balance between the supply of appointments and patient demand.  That said we strongly encourage the practice to continually seek to improve its processes under a general policy of continual improvement.  

Over many months the practice has considered how best to respond to these challenges.  Among those considerations was the possibility of joining other primary care organisations in the hope that improvements can be made through 'economies of scale'.  The PPG were not able to support such a move unless it was clear it would benefit patients.  The practice has now confirmed it will remain independent, and the PPG are delighted to support the decision.  

The issue of funding in the GP sector remains a key issue.  The PPG has held discussions with NHS Somerset in recent weeks and we hope to hear some positive news in the near future. 

JF

See below the confirmation from the practice.

 

To all patients, their families and friends of Ryalls Park Medical Centre (RPMC)

You may have seen the recent statement we made via social media, followed up by press reports, regarding the difficulty to access GP appointments at RPMC. We are determined to improve the service we offer to our patients and have been considering how best we can achieve it. Various options have been considered including the proposal to seek a merger with other practices or to join a large-scale primary care provider. After careful consideration we are pleased to announce that we will remain an independent practice. We firmly believe this is in the best interests of both the practice and its patients. We are also pleased to announce that Dr Richard More has agreed to join us. Dr More has many years’ experience both as a GP and in Chairing and managing a wide range of businesses and will be the Chairman at RPMC. Daniel Vincent remains as Managing Partner focussing on strategic improvements to the practice. In conjunction with NHS commissioners Daniel has been examining how to improve working arrangements in order to best serve our patients. Funding, of course remains a crucial issue. Our PPG (Patient Participation Group) has been pressing Somerset NHS to increase funding for GP practices. We hope to say more about this in the coming months.

Our doctors, nurses and admin team are committed to improving access to the excellent patient-care at RPMC.

We will be setting out further changes and additions to our team in the near future to improve our performance. We know it has been a very difficult winter period for all and we wish to thank you for your understanding and forbearance during often challenging days.

RPMC

 

PPG Meeting Dates:  PPG meetings are held approximately monthly.  If you wish to attend perhaps you could email the PPG at mail@contactmyppg.co.uk.  See below the minutes of the three most recent meetings.   

 

Minutes of the Ryalls Park PPG Meeting held on Wednesday 25 April 2018 at 5.30pm in the Meeting Room at Ryalls Park Medical Centre

 

Present: Mike Freestone, Daniel Vincent, Mike Norman, Jan Yates, Lesley Hudd, Joanne Childs, Karina Parsons, Darryl Stimpson, Linda Bacon, John Falconer. 

 

Apologies:  Brenda Axe, Claire Mallinson, Jane Perry, Diane Paris-Hunter, Lauren Trotman, Stephanie Puddy.

 

  1. Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 14 March were approved as a correct record.   

 

  1. Matters Arising from previous meeting

There were no matters arising.

 

  1. Chair/Vice Chair report of CCG Meeting

Two meetings had been held with Somerset CCG recently.  John and Darryl reported that in both meetings the key issue was the increasing difficulty patients were experiencing when trying to access GP appointments.  The PPG’s position is that NHS funding has fallen short of the level needed to meet today’s increased demands from patients.

The CCG does not entirely reject that view but vigorously points out that many practices, including Ryalls Park may not be deploying the most efficient admin procedures. 

The CCG senior management confirmed that they were conducting a review of clinical services in Somerset and expected an important outcome would be additional investment in primary care in FY 2018/19.     

 

 

 

  1. Practice Manager’s Report

Daniel informed the meeting that the process of joining Symphony Healthcare Services Ltd was now on hold.  Discussions with SHS had not yet confirmed that the move would benefit patients, which is a key requirement.  It may be possible to remain an independent practice.

Daniel said he expected further news on this matter in the next few days.

Post meeting note:  The practice has now confirmed it will remain independent.  See announcement below.

 

The Nurse Practitioners are doing extra hours at the practice.  This is not intended to provide more appointments but rather to allow extended time for patients with complex issues. 

 

Some changes at reception:

Jenny is a new member of the team,

Two receptionists are tasked with providing admin support for patients who have recently left hospital,

Patients are encouraged to phone for appointments rather than turning up at reception.

Daniel said the team were working to reduce phone waiting time.

 

Mike Freestone pointed out that many patients had difficulty hearing what the receptionist was saying.  All receptionists should be made aware of the importance of this matter.     

  

Linda said the flow of prescriptions from the practice to the pharmacy varied greatly from day to day.  She wondered if a specific time-slot could be set aside daily for GPs to sign scrips. 

Daniel and Linda to discuss this issue before the next meeting.

 

  1. Men’s Shed

Mike Freestone explained to the meeting the background of the Men’s Shed, which is a nation-wide movement.  It provides a meeting place for men who are mostly retired to meet socially and also to take part in practical activities including gardening, choir singing, woodwork and other workshop processes. 

Mike pointed out that boredom, loneliness and a lack of purpose in life can lead to depression and other mental health conditions.  It has been shown that these problems are dramatically reduced among members of the Men’s Shed and accordingly the requirement for prescription drugs is much diminished. 

The meeting gave its support to establish a Men’s Shed if it was possible.  Mike emphasised that it was essential as a first step to find a suitable premises which must have long-term availability.   

 

  1. Objective for 2018

This item was deferred until future meetings as a result of the uncertainty regarding SHS Ltd. 

 

  1. AOB

The issue of the cleanliness of the site was discussed.  It was noted that litter was the main problem.  Daniel undertook to fix this.

 

It was suggested that during busy periods reception staff should be able to call other receptionists to the front desk.  A button for this purpose should be installed.  

 

Next Meeting:  Wednesday 23 May at 5.30.

John thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting. 

 

To all patients, their families and friends of Ryalls Park Medical Centre (RPMC)

 

You may have seen the recent statement we made via social media, followed up by press reports, regarding the difficulty to access GP appointments at RPMC.  We are determined to improve the service we offer to our patients and have been considering how best we can achieve it.  Various options have been considered including the proposal to seek a merger with other practices or to join a large-scale primary care provider.  After careful consideration we are pleased to announce that we will remain an independent practice.  We firmly believe this is in the best interests of both the practice and its patients.  We are also pleased to announce that Dr Richard More has agreed to join us.  Dr More has many years’ experience both as a GP and in Chairing and managing a wide range of businesses and will be the Chairman at RPMC.  Daniel Vincent remains as Managing Partner focussing on strategic improvements to the practice.  In conjunction with NHS commissioners Daniel has been examining how to improve working arrangements in order to best serve our patients.  Funding, of course remains a crucial issue.  Our PPG (Patient Participation Group) has been pressing Somerset NHS to increase funding for GP practices.  We hope to say more about this in the coming months. 

Our doctors, nurses and admin team are committed to improving access to the excellent patient-care at RPMC.

We will be setting out further changes and additions to our team in the near future to improve our performance.  We know it has been a very difficult winter period for all and we wish to thank you for your understanding and forbearance during often challenging days.     

 

RPMC
 

Minutes of the Ryalls Park PPG Meeting held on Wednesday 14th March 2018 at 5.30pm in the Meeting Room at Ryalls Park Medical Centre

Present : Claire Mallinson (CM),  Daniel Vincent (DV), Darryl Stimpson (DS), Jan Yates (JY), John Falconer (JF), Karina Parsons (KP), Brenda Axe (BA), Lesley Hudd (LH), Linda Bacon (LB), Lauren Trotman (LT)

Apologies :  Joanne Childs (JC), Jane Perry (JP), Diane Paris-Hunter (DPH), Mike Norman (MN)

  1. Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 14/02/17 were approved as a correct record with a missed apology from JP noted.

  1. Matters Arising from previous meeting

Volunteers – It was agreed to pilot this programme with the PPG volunteers and it was noted that a training programme for this would need to be developed.  DV and CM to put date in diary to discuss this and take it forward.

  1. Practice Managers Report

DV presented his report on the following :

Symphony – JF updated LH and the discussion held at the previous meeting and minuted confidentially as a separate item.  DV comments/update regarding this will again be minutes separately for confidentiality purposes.

Staffing/Capacity Issues – Cheryl Mead, Health Coach would be working her last day at the practice on Tuesday 27th March 2018.

Appointments System – DV had put out an additional Facebook post regarding the current capacity issues for appointments asking for patient suggestions as to how this could be improved and the following suggestions were made :

  • No appointments left today message on answerphone to avoid patients holding the queue unnecessarily
  • Some appointments to be held back until 12.30pm each day to make it easier for patients who find it difficult to call at 8.30am due to dropping children off at school etc

Non urgent appointments are also now available to be booked using the online system.

DV also reported that Jayne, Holly and Hannah (Apprentice HCA) would be running asthma clinics, COPD clinics etc

  1. Update of meeting with Marcus Fysh, MP

JF updated on a recent meeting held between members of the PPG, practice personnel and Marcus Fysh regarding the current constraints being experienced with funding etc.  These were minuted separately by JF and are available on request.

  1. Objectives for 2018
  • Prescription Process
  • Appointments process needs reviewing to make allocation fairer
  • Improvements to Reception Area
  1. Any Other Business

LB reported that the prescription ordering system was once again chaotic with duplicate prescriptions being generated.  The waiting time for prescriptions was increasing again and LT would look into providing a written protocol for how each prescription is ordered etc.

A question was raised as to whether patients needing regular medications could be issued a 3-month supply at a time and it was confirmed that t

JF updated that the chairs of local PPGs were due to meet in two weeks time to discuss the ongoing issues and it as hoped that an update would be available at the next meeting.

Date of next meetings

Future meeting dates were discussed and the following agreed :

Wednesday 14th March 2018 – 5.30pm

JF thanked all for their attendance and closed the meeting.

 

Minutes of the Ryalls Park PPG Meeting held on Wednesday 14th February 2018 at 5.30pm in the Meeting Room at Ryalls Park Medical Centre

Present: Claire Mallinson (CM), Daniel Vincent (DV), Darryl Stimpson (DS), Jan Yates (JY), John Falconer (JF), Karina Parsons (KP), Mike Freestone (MF), Jane Perry (JP), Brenda Axe (BA), Steph Puddy (SP)

Apologies : Linda Bacon (LB), Joanne Childs (JC), Lesley Hudd (LH),Mike Norman (MN), Lauren Trotman (LT), Diane Paris-Hunter (DPH)

Minutes of the previous meeting

The minutes of the meeting held on 17/01/18 were approved as a correct record.

Matters Arising from previous meeting

Appointments System – DS confirmed that he and DV had a meeting scheduled on 20/02/18 to discuss this further.

Volunteers – CM reported that she had not yet received a volunteer role description from DV who confirmed that it had only just been sent prior to the meeting so CM would review. The main roles and responsibilities identified for a Ryalls Park volunteer would be:

Meet & Greet

On the day appointment requests

Supporting patients making prescription requests

Keeping waiting room tidy and accepting deliveries

Non patient visitor sign in and directional assistance

Encouraging/supporting patient feedback

Supporting baby clinics

Assisting patients completing forms

Printing online access requests with appropriate ID

Updating contact details

Compiling a patient FAQ guide

MF left the meeting at this stage as he had forgotten his hearing aid and could not participate due to not hearing what was being discussed.

Potential timings for volunteer requirements were discussed and the main period identified seems to be between 8.15am and 10.15am.

CM agreed to liaise with the hospital to see if volunteers could be added to their in-house training programme if they had one and it was agreed to trial the volunteer system with PPG volunteers in the first instance and DV would arrange the relevant DBS checks for those interested.

Chairs of Somerset PPG Meeting with Nick Robinson

JF updated the group on the recent meeting with the CCG Chair, Nick Robinson and unfortunately the outcome was that the questions posed were not answered and they were seemingly never received by the relevant people. JF did however as a direct question regarding the funding and GP shortage currently being experienced in Somerset but no satisfactory answer was received. JF to attend the next meeting of PPG Chairs on 27/02/18 to discuss next steps and will update accordingly at the next meeting.

Practice Managers Report

DV requested that main content of his report should remain confidential at this stage. The meeting agreed and therefore this part of DV’s report has been minuted separately and will be available as hard copy at the next meeting.

DV also reported that, following the media coverage last month regarding the social media posting, a meeting had been arranged with the local MP, Marcus Fysh on Friday 23/02/18 at 9.30am and it was hoped that a couple of PPG members were also available to attend. JF, KP and JS confirmed that they would be happy to attend this meeting along with DV. A pre-meet was scheduled for 8.30am on the same date in the meeting room at Ryalls Park ahead of the main meeting to discuss strategy.

It was felt that the main response from the Facebook posting from the Surgery was of overwhelming support for the staff and all that they are trying to do to make a difficult situation easier for patients.

Organisational Chart – DV confirmed that this had been updated and a final draft would be sent to DS prior to publication. DS also reminded DV to include the updated prescription policy in light if the fact that patients were being encouraged to have their prescription requests send direct to their chosen pharmacy.

Staffing/Capacity Issues – DV reported that the Nurse Practitioner had now returned to work following a spell of absence and that a second one had been recruited and was due to start in April which would mean more NP slots available to patients.

Reaction to Facebook posting

As previously covered in the PM report the response was felt to be mainly positive with many patients thanking the practice for their transparency with regards to the current capacity pressures etc. JF thanked DV on behalf of the PPG for taking this forward and that other GP practices in the area had commented to say how well they felt this had been received by patients.

Objectives for 2018

A few objectives were discussed for the coming year and the following were agreed upon as an initial list:

Improvements to reception area

Appointment Process – fairer allocation

JF asked members to consider potential objectives for discussion at future meetings.

Any Other Business

SP reported that Health Coach Cheryl Mead was leaving the practice to retire/family reasons. It was agreed that she would be much missed as she was instrumental in leading many services at the practice over the years and is a valued member of the Team. She was asked to pass on Best wishes to Cheryl from the PPG. DV said that he was hoping to put a book on reception so patients and staff etc could write farewell messages to Cheryl.

BA confirmed that she was monitoring the hand hygiene provision in the patient toilet and continues to replenish stock of hand soaps as and when they were needed. KP also confirmed that she was ensuring that litter did not gather at the front of the Surgery and both were thanked for their efforts with this.

KP enquired regarding ongoing PPG recruitment and JF confirmed that an email had been received from an interested party but at the present time he was wondering whether the PPG was up to capacity with membership. Discussion ensued and it was suggested that we invite the interested party to a future meeting and go from there.

Date of next meeting

Future meeting dates were discussed and the following agreed :

Wednesday 14th March 2018 – 5.30pm

JF thanked all for their attendance and closed the meeting.

 

Planning Ahead – A guide for patients and carers.

Copy and paste the link below in your browser for a great deal of useful information.

file:///C:/Users/John/Documents/Planning%20Ahead%20Jan%202015%20FINAL%20(3).PDF

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