Patient Participation Group Newsletter

Summer 2023




A Message from our Chairman…

Welcome to this, the first newsletter produced by the Banbury Cross Health Centre Patient Participation Group. We intend to produce a newsletter every quarter, with the aim of keeping all patients aware of developments within the practice, and the work being carried out by the PPG on your behalf to enhance your experience when dealing with the Health Centre. You can find out more about the Patient Participation Group on Page 3 of this newsletter. I want to emphasise that this is your PPG. It is made up entirely of patients at this Health Centre. We meet monthly with senior members of the Management Team and Doctors to discuss any issues which have arisen, and put your, the patients, point of view. We are the voice for 42,000 patients, and we are listened to. If you wish to be able to put your viewpoint, you are welcome to apply to join the Patients Participation Group. If you wish to join, or would like to know more, please visit our PPG webpage

Best wishes, Terry Cox, Chairman


The Telephone System

This is the key to the whole operation at the health centre, these are the first people that you will speak to when you call. You may not know this but the incoming call line has a team of 15 call handlers behind it and the number is expanding. The peak time is Monday mornings at 8.00 am and they really hit the ground running, in the month of June they handled 14,445 calls, that is over 1000 calls every working day so if there is a bit of a delay please be patient.  They do realise that some people  are a bit reluctant to discuss their problem with them but please be aware that they are all trained to discuss your problem to enable them to triage your request and that they have also all signed a confidentiality agreement regarding the information that they discuss with you.

When you call 01295 256261 you will hear a list of options please listen carefully and choose the option you require, a copy of the list is on the back page of the newsletter. Don’t forget the “queuebuster”, if you have more than 5 callers in front of you then you will be asked if you would like a call back instead of hanging on, just press 1 and put the phone down, they will call back.

This is on the front page because it is the most important aspect of the initial contact that patients have with the health centre. They really WANT to help you.


Social Prescribing at Banbury Cross Health Centre

What is Social Prescribing?

Many things affect your health and wellbeing. GPs tell us that a lot of people visit them feeling isolated, lonely or stressed by work, money and housing problems.

The Social Prescribing Service aims to support you and to help you have more control over your health and wellbeing, and to help with things that can’t be resolved by doctors and medicine alone.

We can give you time to talk about some of the issues that may be affecting your health and wellbeing, and come up with a plan to help manage them.

What do Social Prescribers do?

Our Social Prescribers can help you decide what you could do to help you feel happier and healthier.

They can help you to access support services and activities that suit your needs.

There are Social Prescribers at Banbury Cross Health Centre. For an appointment ring the following number.

  • 01295 256261 option *

Clinical Pharmacists

Did you know that there is a team of clinical pharmacists at Banbury Cross Health Centre?

What do they do?

  1. Deal with repeat prescriptions requests
  2. Monitor your condition with follow up tests
  3. Offer an annual review of your medication
  4. Answer any medication enquiries you may have

Need to talk to a pharmacist call:

  • 01295 256261 option 4

a pharmacist


Medical Research

One thing that we all know about the NHS is that it is always looking for new treatments, procedures, drugs etc. The practice has a very active research department headed up by Dr. James Kennard to play their part in the big picture. At BCHC they believe it is important to participate in research projects so that they can help to develop new and more effective ways of diagnosing and treating diseases. They are pleased to give the patients the opportunity to take part in these studies, many of which involve tests and treatments which they would not otherwise be able to offer. Therefore the practice is actively involved in numerous national studies which are organised by study teams at universities, charities and other research institutions.


What is the PPG?

The surgery would like to know how they can improve their service to you and how you perceive the Practice and the staff.

The main aim of the PPG is to provide effective communication between the staff and the patients of Banbury Cross Health Centre and to support the practice to improve services.

The objectives of the group:

  • To discuss practice and NHS issues
  • Ideas generator
  • Information dissemination
  • Positive influence for practice and patient relationships
  • Supportive of the needs of the local health population whilst recognising the pressures on general practice

The group meet monthly at the practice – other practice members are usually present too including Senior Management and GP Partners.

We are looking for new members and we would like the group to be as representative as possible of the diverse nature of the patients, we need you! If you would like to influence the provisions of services and you wish to participate, complete the online form. On the website you will find a copy of our constitution and copies of the minutes of recent meetings.

You will need to be a registered patient with Banbury Health Centre and be available to attend our monthly meetings which normally take place at 6pm on the 3rd Thursday of the month and last for about one hour.
We aim to acknowledge your request within a few days.




The practice has 3 First Contact Physiotherapists (FCPs)  who specialise in the assessment, diagnosis and management of muscular-skeletal conditions (soft tissue, muscle and joint pain).

The FCPs can see you for these issues instead of your GP.  They can offer you timely, expert advice to help you manage your problem and where appropriate, self-care, analgesia, fit notes, investigations (x-ray and scans) joint injections, blood tests and onwards referral can be arranged.

They work closely with the GPs and other health professionals at the practice offering you early intervention to help you manage your individual needs.


Care Quality Commission

Following a CQC inspection on 9 June 2023 you will be pleased to know that BCHC was rated as GOOD overall, a testament to the hours of hard work and dedication of the staff. Well done!


This is our first newsletter for a long time and we hope that you have found it interesting. It is also available as a hard copy from the surgery.

We would be very interested in hearing any comments that you may have on the publication or any ideas for future issues. It is intended to make it a regular feature. We would also be interested to hear any thoughts or questions you may have on the PPG.

Contact the PPG

Published: Jan 16, 2024