WELCOME, APOLOGIES and MATTERS ARISING
- Patients: Pat Banks, Hilary Calvert, Mimi Colahan, Maria Constantinidou, Penny Gamez, Alan Gamez, Danya Glaser, Nori Graham, Brian Harding, Ruth Lloyd, Sandy Mosse, Gill Walt, Manor Wong;
- Practice: Pal Bhambra, Sarah Worboys, Stephen Yaxley
Apologies: Adriana Santos Davila, Ian Critchley, Donatella Soldi, Veronica Brinton, Jill Fraser, Isky Gordon, Kathy Graham-Harrison, Nancy Hogg, Kirsten de Keyser, Patricia Langton, Ruth Lloyd, Tony Gardner-Medwin, Gill Scott, Jordan Archer
1. MATTERS ARISING: The system of cancelling appointments has been changed to make it easier. A survey of people who use the KTHC will be undertaken by Pal and a member of the Quality and Performance team in the next couple of weeks; the signage sub-group is considering a number of potential changes and will report back; the chair for the blood pressure machine at the hub still needs to be made higher.
The newly set up Quality and Performance team and the new manager at Queens Crescent were introduced by Pal. Among many other tasks, they will be monitoring patients who need reviews, patients who do not attend appointments, do not have mobile phones, contract targets and digital performance.
2. REPORT BACK FROM VOLUNTEERS IN RECEPTION
Each volunteer works a half day shift, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Fridays, helping reduce the length of the queue by assisting patients orient themselves. There was a long discussion on the management of the queue by reception staff on the front desk. Some positive changes have occurred:
- bringing on a second or even third member of the reception staff to the front desk when the queue has built up.
- reception staff coming out from the desk to take a note of those queuing for a doctor or nurse appointment so that they do not need to continue queuing.
Volunteers felt reception staff could use more initiative in getting assistance from colleagues. For instance when the queue has built up; or if they are on their own and need to go to the back office on a query, asking another colleague to stand in so that the queue doesn’t increase, and patients see that the desk is staffed.
The issue of continuity of care was raised – seeing the same doctor whenever possible – and the PPG was assured that this is the desired policy of the Practice. However, because of an imbalance between demand and supply, the goal is not always achieved. It was pointed out that trainees were sometimes only in the Practice for 6 months, and it was not always possible to inform patients that the doctor they saw at an earlier appointment was no longer available. Being part of one of the three teams did, however, guarantee a degree of continuity.
Finally there was some discussion about the Phlebotomy service run by UCLH. It was suggested that the PPG might write to UCLH to see whether a printer could be made available, so that patients without the requisite forms need not be turned away.
3. POLICY ON REGISTRATION OF PATIENTS
Patients who live outside the catchment area may register with the Practice, but are warned that some services may not be available (eg community services from boroughs other than Camden, home visits etc). A particular case was highlighted, where an elderly patient had been told, in a letter, that they should find another practice nearer their home address. The JW Practice will now change its policy, and only communicate such messages face to face, in interviews with senior clinical staff, to avoid patient disappointment and confusion.
Issues about the communication between hospital discharge and GP practice were touched on, following a poor experience. It was explained that communication on discharge differs between hospitals, all of which use different systems. Discharge letters sometimes arrive late at the GP practice, so patients leaving hospital should contact the practice without waiting to be called.
Sarah Worboys reported back on two surveys which are attached.
It was noted that the data in both surveys had significant flaws, and any conclusions should be treated cautiously.
5. Practice Feedback
Much of the reporting from both JW and QC practices had been made during the body of the meeting. It was noted that a few staff were leaving, but that recruitment of new staff was in process.
A meeting between the PPG volunteers and staff is being organized for mid June.
On June 22nd there will be a party at KTHC (19.00 – 21.00) to launch Creative Health Camden, formerly known as FreeSpace. All are welcome. For more information go to [email protected]
The next PPG meeting will be on Thursday 27th July 2023 from 1800 to 19.30 and will be an opportunity to ask questions of the JW and QC practices and to meet informally afterwards, with refreshments.