1. Welcome, Apologies and Matters Arising

Patients: Isky Gordon, Manor Wong, Mimi Colahan, Nancy Hogg, Pat Banks, Tamar Posner, Patricia Langton, Veronica Brinton, Ruthina Newton, Camilla Palmer, Gill Scott, Nancy Pistrang, Kathy Graham Harrison, Kirsten de Keyser, Carmel Rycroft, Jonny Bucknell, Judy Sands, Donatelle Soldi, Gill Walt
Practice: Stephen Yaxley, Cansu Ozdemir, Sultan Miah
Apologies: Amanda Williams, Donatella Soldi, Gudrun Sveinbjarnardottir, Brian Harding, Danya Glaser, Hilary Calvert, Nori Graham, Pal Bhambra, Farha Uddin

New participants were welcomed.

2. Feedback on Dementia Carers’ Meeting

There have been 2 meetings. The support group is for carers of patients with dementia, so that they can exchange information and experience to support each other. The group will be organised and run by the carers, initially coordinated by Camilla Palmer and Nori Graham.

Carers will be recruited either through word of mouth or through the GPs. The latter are contacting dementia patients directly as well as reminding all professionals at JW and QC meetings about this support group. Everyone at the meeting was encouraged to spread the word.

It was acknowledged that there is a lot of support in the wider community for carers, through Camden Carers, Age UK Camden, the Alzheimer’s Society among others, and that they may be invited to meetings in the future.

The support group will meet regularly, once monthly, on the first Tuesday, at the Kentish Town Health Centre. The next meeting will be on 2nd July.

3. Pharmacy First

This is an NHS England initiative aiming at freeing up GP appointments. Patients can self-refer or may be referred though the Practice. Pharmacists are trained to assess seven particular conditions, for which they are able to prescribe anti-biotics where appropriate. This is a free service to the patient paid for by NHS England. Certain pharmacists have been trained to provide this service. The seven conditions are:

  • Acute otitis media: 1 – 17years
  • Impetigo: 1 year and over
  • Infected insect bites: 1 year and over
  • Shingles: 18 years and over#
  • Sinusitis: 12 years and over
  • Sore throat: 5 years and over
  • Uncomplicated urinary tract infections: Women 16-64 years

4. Volunteers’ Report

Reception support going well. The overhead screens are still not working adequately, meaning that when doctors come into reception to call patients for their appointments it improved the atmosphere in the reception area.

The Food bank will be closed from mid-June. It has become unmanageable due to too high a demand on staff time. However, a Benefits officer will be present at KTHC one morning a week, to advise patients on housing, DWP, Camden Council and other issues around benefits. Patients need to be referred by a GP.

Signage remains a problem. A reminder will be sent to Community Health Partnerships who run the building that the Patients’ Group is hoping for feedback in July on action being taken following the signage report by Gill Scott.

5. Newsletter

Copies of issues that might go into a newsletter were handed around and discussed. The aim would be to have a paper copy in both QC and JW Receptions and on websites, produced 2-3 times a year. It could also be available in all the consulting rooms.

There was some discussion as to the usefulness of a newsletter. The volunteers suggested that many patients coming to Reception do not look at the website and a newsletter would be valuable for many of them as a source of information.

There were various suggestions about what might be included such as the names of pharmacies providing Pharmacy First services, how to make suggestions about the Practice, medical information on pain relief, and others. There was support for an item on the Practice’s awareness and inclusion of LGBTQ+ patients.

The item on ‘how to get an appointment’ raised a great deal of discussion. It was suggested that the newsletter should acknowledge that there is a problem with getting an appointment, common to GP Practices around the country. This should be on the website as well. This would then be followed by the current process for appointments (which is under constant revision by the Practice).

6. Feedback from Practice

A project run by the Practice on shared decision making was reported on. A questionnaire asking 3 questions had been asked of a number of patients at the end of their consultations:

  • How much effort was made to help you understand your health issues?
  • How much effort was made to listen to the thing that matter most to you about your health issues?
  • How much effort was made to include what matters to you in choosing what to do next?

Results showed a positive answer to all three questions in over 80% of patients with a mean score of 88.7%. This compared favourably with the survey in 2022/2023.

The contract for a new Website has been signed. Those patients who offered to provide a patients’ perspective in the development of the website will be contacted by Pal Bhambra.

A new senior prescribing pharmacist has been appointed, to be based mainly at Queen’s Crescent.

7. AOB

It was suggested that the Practice could be more actively supportive of its LGBTQ+ patients. There are GP practices which have been awarded a Pride in Practice. For example the Village Practice in Islington has a Gold award for its policies on its LGBTQ+ patients, ensuring LGBT patients feel confident in using the Practice. One patient suggested that the Practice could access the LGBT Foundation for more information.

One patient asked why it was not possible to get one’s own blood type from the Practice. It was explained that blood types are not routinely collected and are only asked for in particular situations. For example, when women are pregnant. If patients want to know their blood type they need to pay for this, or donate blood.

Issues held over for another meeting because of lack of time included a review of how chronic, long term conditions are dealt with in the Practice and the communication between primary, secondary and tertiary care. It was also proposed that a spokesperson from the NCL Integrated Care Board be invited to a PPG meeting to hear from patients.

Next meeting: Summer event Thursday 11th July in the KTHC garden from 18.00 to 19.30. All welcome!

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