Dear Patient,

What is the PPG?

The Ryalls Park Patient Participation Group (PPG) is a partnership between us the patients, the medical practitioners, 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 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

Great ideas come when we all work together.

Yours sincerely

John Falconer

Chairman Ryalls Park PPG


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PPG Meeting Dates:  PPG meetings are held approximately monthly.  If you wish to attend please email the PPG at  See below the minutes of the three most recent meetings.


                                                                 RYALLS PARK MEDICAL CENTRE

                                                     PATIENT PARTICIPATION GROUP

Notes of meeting held Wednesday 22 January 2020 at 5.30pm 

Present:  Daniel Vincent, Jan Yates, Catherine Wilson, Lesley Hudd, Darryl Stimpson, Erica Woolmington, Steph Puddy, Roger Brown, John Falconer.

Apologies:  Brenda Axe, Joanne Childs, Julia Reynolds, Karina Parsons, Mike Freestone.    

1.  Approval of the notes of previous meeting.

     The notes of the December meeting were approved.   

The meeting discussed the issue encountered by Roger regarding death certificates.  Roger’s Mother sadly died after a long illness in early January. The GP who had last attended Roger’s Mum was unavailable so another GP would have to authorise the death certificate.  This caused some delay but Roger was assured the certificate would be issued in the following day or two.   However it turned out that, despite her being seen by District Nurses the day before her death, CHC funded carers twice daily and a Doctor at RPMC had been spoken to the day before her death, that because she had not been physically seen by a Doctor within 14 days of her death the matter had to be referred to the Coroner.

Some confusion at the practice led to the time limit being exceeded which caused additional delay and anguish to Roger and his family. Daniel agreed this was a failure on the part of the practice and apologised to Roger.  The referral to coroner rule was known about but it was not expressly written into practice procedures at the time. 

Once it was realised this problem had occurred, the practice acted swiftly to resolve the matter.

Daniel assured the meeting that the correct procedure was now written into practice rules to ensure no re-occurrence in the future.        

The meeting unanimously wished to record its sincere condolences to Roger.     

2.  Opinionater

Roger distributed the Opinionater reports but it was clear a problem had arisen.  On certain days no results had been recorded.  This may have been because the machine was not switched on or it may be that no patient clicked the machine.  After some discussion it was felt to more likely that there was a fault in the machine.

Roger will investigate the matter and report at the next meeting.

3.  Managing Partners Report

Daniel reported some personnel changes.  Dr Leather has left the practice to take up a position in Bridport.  Dr Regan returns from maternity leave in March.  Dr Smith is retiring in October and Dr Becky Sales has joined the practice. 

Vacancies have been posted for a respiratory nurse and for an apprentice in the admin team.

As a follow-up to the CQC inspection, the CCG has issued contract breach notices to the practice.  To avoid closure the practice must submit an action plan to the CCG setting out how and when the deficiencies stated in the CQC report will be resolved. 

The action plan must be submitted by end January and Daniel reported that the deadline will be met.

It should also be noted that the CQC is due at any time soon to conduct the formal re-inspection. 

The criticisms from the CQC and CCG relate mainly to the process of managing the practice rather than the quality of care given.  To strengthen managerial oversight of the practice processes, a Governance Board (GB) has been established.  The members of the GB include the Managing Partner, the Clinical Lead Partner, the Senior Nurse and the heads of the admin functions.

The Chair of the PPG has also been invited to join the GB.  The meeting thanked Daniel for recognising the importance of PPG involvement in governance issues and agreed the Chair should join the GB subject to the following:

1.  The Chair will not take part in adjudicating individual patient complaints.

2.  The day-to-day running of the practice is solely a matter for the staff at the practice.  

Daniel reported that he is conducting a patient survey in the waiting room.  Survey forms are on each seat and patients are invited to respond while they wait or to take away the form and respond later.

Daniel will give an update at the next meeting.     

It was also reported that the practice intends to review its appointments system.

4. The CCG Primary Care Strategy   

The recently circulated Primary Care Strategy paper was briefly discussed. It was generally agreed there was much that was good in the paper but a great deal of it is unclear, confusing or even incomprehensible.

There is a meeting tomorrow of all the Somerset PPGs at the CCG offices.  The Head of Primary Care at the CCG, Michael Bainbridge, is due to present the paper at the meeting. 

5.  AOB      

Darryl made the point that occasionally he and other PPG members receive complaints from patients about the practice.  In these circumstances the complaint is passed to the practice by the PPG member or the patient is advised to make the complaint directly to the practice (normally Daniel).  Understandably, Daniel deals with the matter and responds to the patient.  This leaves the PPG member unaware if the complaint has been satisfied or not.  It would helpful if the PPG member received feedback when the matter is resolved.  Such feedback would report only that the matter was closed.  No detail need be given. 

Daniel agreed to do this in future.     

Erica commented on Engage Consult.  She said the system was working well but that very few people were using it or even knew about it. The meeting agreed it was difficult to persuade patients to take up new online facilities and that the whole subject of communication should be discussed at a future meeting. 

The condition of the waiting room was briefly mentioned.  Erica pointed out some of the walls were grubby and Jan said she had recently sorted out the magazines racks.  Perhaps the cleaners could have these issues included in their nightly schedule?          

John thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting.

Next meeting: Wednesday 26 February at 5.30.



                                                                   RYALLS PARK MEDICAL CENTRE

                                                      PATIENT PARTICIPATION GROUP

Notes of meeting on Wednesday 18 December 2019 at 5.30pm 

Present:  Richard More, Daniel Vincent, Jan Yates, Mike Freestone, Catherine Wilson, Lesley Hudd, John Falconer.

Apologies:  Brenda Axe, Joanne Childs, Julia Reynolds, Erica Woolmington, Steph Puddy, Darryl Stimpson, Roger Brown, Karina Parsons.    

1.  Approval of the notes of previous meeting.

     The notes of the November meeting were approved but it was agreed the following should be added to the December notes:

In circumstances where a patient presents at the reception desk or on the phone and reports that a medical practitioner or a pharmacist (not necessarily connected to Ryalls Park) has told the patient to urgently seek medical advice from the practice, then the reception staff must inform either a GP or a NP as soon as possible.  The patient must be given advice or treatment immediately or at the latest by the end of the working day.

2. A Review of 2019

Richard and Daniel gave the meeting their perspective of the events at the practice during the year to date. 

Although the overall situation at the practice has improved during the year, the very negative CQC report following the inspection in the summer has overshadowed all other events. 

All the staff at the practice are very distressed by the report but have responded with energy to resolve the criticisms and shortcomings highlighted by the CQC.

A further blow to the practice came in early December when the CCG served notice that a breach of contract had occurred.  The alleged breach relates to the criticisms levelled by the CQC.

A wide ranging discussion took place with a number of views being expressed.  Although the practice accepts it must improve those issues identified by the QCQ, it remains concerned that the degree of criticism is disproportionate.  In its report, the CQC states that it received negative comments from third parties who would remain anonymous.  The practice has repeatedly asked for more information to better understand what these negative comments may be whist respecting the anonymity of the complainant.  The CQC has refused. 

At a meeting to serve the breach of contact notices, the CCG said it was principally concerned with the poor opinions expressed by patients in the NHS survey of January 2019.  The PPG suggested that in light of the latest data from the Opinionater, it may be worthwhile writing to the CCG to inform it of the most up to date views from patients.

The meeting approved the idea and John agreed to write to the CCG directors dealing with the matter.            

   The meeting ended on a rather more upbeat note.  Both Richard and Daniel insisted the practice would get through this difficulty and reassured the meeting they had rejected any thoughts of closing the practice.   

The PPG in turn repeated its support for the practice, its partners and staff. 

John thanked everyone for attending and wished all a very happy Christmas. 



                                                                    RYALLS PARK MEDICAL CENTRE

                                                       PATIENT PARTICIPATION GROUP

Notes of meeting on Wednesday 20 November 2019 at 5.30pm 

Present:  Roger Brown, Daniel Vincent, Jan Yates, Karina Parsons, Mike Freestone, Catherine Wilson, Lesley Hudd, John Falconer.

Apologies:  Brenda Axe, Joanne Childs, Julia Reynolds, Erica Woolmington, Steph Puddy, Darryl Stimpson.    

1.  Approval of the notes of previous meeting.

     Catherine said the notes of the previous meeting held on 16 October should be amended at AOB item 2.  She was concerned that if the practice confirmed it was not practical to consult a medic while a patient waited at the desk or on the phone, it may give a worrying impression to patients and the public.

The meeting agreed and the notes were amended and circulated.    

 2.  Matters Arising from previous meeting


      There were no matters arising.

 3.  Data from the Opinionater

      Roger presented the summary results for the four months since the Opinionater was installed:

      The number of ‘Unhappy’ clicks is reducing – down to around 5%.

      The number of ‘OK’ clicks increasing – up to around 15%.

      The number of ‘Happy’ clicks stable at around 20%

      The total number of daily clicks is too variable, ranging from over 100 to less than 10.

It was agreed that Dan would examine the results to check if ‘Unhappy’ clicks can be correlated to particular events or times in the practice.

It was also agreed John would arrange for a modification to be installed in the machine so that it can be left switched on at all times.

4.  Patient Communication

      It was agreed that the PPG and the practice need to improve how new developments in primary care are communicated to patients.  For example, the advent of PCNs and the rapid introduction of online services.

John presented a short animated video (produced for Ryalls Park PPG by Phil Tilson) setting out how patients can register for the NHS App.

It was agreed that the video be available on the PPG section of the practice website.

 5.  AOB

Mike said he had contacted the practice using Engage Consult but had not received a reply.   Dan will look into what happened.

Karina pointed out that Canon’s Gym was offering an exercise programme to improve joint-pain at just £2 per session.  She said the programme was very beneficial and that Ryalls Park was the only practice (to date) supporting it.

There being no other business John thanked everyone for attending and closed the meeting.

Next meeting:  Wednesday 18 December at 5.30.


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