Present: Pat Banks, Veronica Brinton, Jonny Bucknell, Mimi Colahan, Maria Constantinidou, Andrea Dahlberg, Isky Gordon, Kathy Graham-Harrison, Patricia Langton, Adriana Santos Devila, Gudrun Sveinbjarnardotti, Gill Walt. From the Practice, Bonita O’Brien, Pal Bhambra, Sarah Worboys Steve Yaxley.
Apologies: Nori Graham, Kirsten de Keyser, Ian Critchley, Sandy Mosse.
1. Social Prescribing.
Social prescribing involves helping patients to improve their health, wellbeing and social welfare by connecting them to community services which might be run by the council or a local charity. For example, connecting people who are lonely or depressed, or have been diagnosed with dementia to local dementia support groups.
Bonita O’Brien described her role as a social prescriber for JW/QC practice. She started a few months ago in reception and has moved towards taking responsibility for much of the social prescribing in the practice. She has been in touch with housebound patients and others, through telephone calls or face to face meetings, or both. Patients can self-refer or be referred by a GP. Bonita sees 5-7 people a day, and also runs a monthly coffee morning for some of those patients, which have been well attended. The volunteers asked whether a leaflet outlining the role and activities of social prescribing could be made available for general patient information.
2. Signage Sub-Group.
Pal reported that Gill Scott, Isky Gordon and he are looking at what changes could be made to improve signage in the short run and to develop a longer term plan for the more complex changes needed. He observed that Gill had taken on a great leadership role, made good suggestions for changes, and was bringing a very helpful and inspiring energy to the group. They will continue to keep the PPG up to date on changes. Pal will be contacting the volunteers to help with a weeks’ survey to establish why patients attend the KTHC and who they see.
3. Volunteers in Reception (and Practice feedback).
A number of issues were discussed.
- The practice is aware of problems around prescription synchronization and is working on a system to prioritize those patients needing more than 5 medications.
- As part of the NHS Health Check, patients have been coming in to be reviewed. The practice has been the most successful GP practice in Camden in meeting its health check targets (1000 patients seen in just a few months).
- The e-consult form will be dis-continued, and a new system introduced. Decisions on which one is best for JW/QC patients will be made soon – the hope being that the same system will be used for other GP practices in the area.
- Cancellation of appointments is currently very difficult to do on-line, and patients are having to phone in to cancel them, which is inefficient. The practice is aware of this, and is looking into it.
- There is a special group looking at the appointments system, and this will be reported on at a future meeting – probably in July.
- A senior manager on quality and performance has been appointed to work with Pal on improving systems in the practice.
- It was noted that in 2022 19 million more GP appointments across the UK were made in comparison with 2018. Against this increase in demand, GP numbers have fallen. Despite this, the PPG is aware that the JW/QC practice has been able to attract health staff and to provide primary services under very difficult circumstances (pandemic, strikes, illness). Deep thanks were expressed to all those concerned.
- It was noted that the chair next to the blood pressure machine is too low, and needs to be replaced.
4. Queens Crescent.
It was agreed that the notice about covid on the door of the surgery should be removed. A number of changes are being introduced at Queens Crescent, including the appointment of a new practice manager who will be based there. Instead of rotating staff from JW, QC will shortly have its own administrative staff for better continuity of care.
Everyone on the email list has been asked whether anyone objected to names appearing on the minutes. No objections were received.
FreeSpace is being re-launched as Creative Health Camden, to give a better idea of what the charity does. This will be done at a public event on 22 June, and all patients are welcome to attend. More details will follow nearer the time.
6. Dates of Next Meetings.
- 18 May 2023 at 2-3.30 PM
- 20 July 2023 at 6-7.30 PM