PPG Minutes of July Meeting




Present: TS, JN, AM, TC, TA, AC, JM, JR, KC, JH
Apologies: GA and BA, PC, AM, AR.

Minutes and matters arising

The minutes were read and approved with the following amendments.

  • TC name was omitted from the list of those attending.
  • The second sentence of item 2 should read, ‘Members of the PPG should be able to give patients signposts to the working of the surgery but not health advice.’

Jen Nichols, as the new Practice Manager, introduced herself to us all and gave her reasons for wanting to hold this position. She has ideas that she would like to introduce and an insider’s knowledge of the workings of the surgery and staff, with whom she is pleased to continue working.


Recruiting of new staff continues to pose problems for the surgery, as it does so many others throughout the country. Plans are in hand to for the recruiting process here to be as good as it can be and Dr Mark Gray is concentrating on strategies to make that happen. He will also be working as a GP here. GPs who join BCHC are often trainees who have worked here before, returning staff, and applicants who are given personal attention by way of a guided tour of the surgery and like what they see. Interviews will take place on 29th July, for a new Health Care Assistant. One new Mental health nurse has been appointed and the search for more practice nurses continues. It is hoped that some Physician Associates may be appointed. They are trained physicians but would be able to relieve doctors of some of the paperwork etc. The surgery has appointed a couple of locums but continues looking for more.

Dr Rogers is currently on leave and other members of staff are off sick with Covid. Reluctantly the use of e-Consult has been suspended temporarily to enable staff some breathing space but it is hoped that it can be reinstated by 8th August

From October the Enhanced Hours system will come into force, (see the minutes of the last meeting for details), and it is hoped that patients will be able to book appointments in advance, including booking on-line. The online booking system does have some inherent problems which it is hoped can be solved to ensure that the more urgent appointment requests can be met. It is felt that there is a need to offer more on-line appointments and the manner of administration that will be involved is being considered.

Despite all the staffing problems we were told that DNAs are holding pretty constant but there was a higher number during the heatwave.

TS said that being a bigger practice has its problems but also advantages. There are broader opportunities in big practices which can be enticing to new staff.

A winter booster jab against Covid will be available to those in the older age group mid-late September, and it is hoped that the flu vaccinations will be administered at the same time, if the latter medication arrives on time.


The members of the sub-group working on the constitution had received an updated version from JM prior to the meeting. Comments were requested and the following issues addressed. A. The draft states that the practice belongs to N.A.P.P. whereas the membership of it has lagged. It is intended that the practice will rejoin and Tony offered to attend to the matter. B. At the last meeting it was decided that meetings should be held monthly but the latest draft did not fully endorse that. It was agreed that the wording now should be, ’The PPG shall endeavour to meet monthly unless unusual circumstances arise.’ The constitution was then accepted with minor amendments and passed unanimously with a rider that it should be revisited next year.

It was decided that the officials for this group be elected at the next meeting and a discussion should take place about the list of patients who have expressed an interest in joining this PPG.

Complaints update: The complaints coming into the surgery remain at about the same level as before, focussing mainly about accessibility, on-line booking and availability to see a doctor face-2-face, all of which are linked to capacity, and the number of available slots.

There have been more positive reviews on NHS Choices and the Friends and Family test data remains very positive with 95% of patients recommending the practice following a visit.

Any Other Business

  • We were told of a patient who had attended at the surgery and referred to the Horton, where she later had an appointment. She was very disturbed the next day to receive a text, a phone call and a letter advising her of the treatment she could receive at The Manor Hospital in Oxford, for a price! JN assured us that this would not have come via BCHC but she would check to try to discover more and if it had all come via The Horton. It seems as if it is just a scheme promoting private health providers.
  • PC has been contacted by Emma Teasdale in a survey by Health Watch to find how practices are using their television screens in the waiting rooms to advise patients. Jen said that the systems are potentially being upgraded to give a wider selection of information however this requires a system upgrade therefore quotations are being sought.
  • During the heatwave some patients were almost overcome by the high temperatures in the waiting areas. Is the practice able to improve matters for the patients? The answer is that although there were fans in most areas they were of little help and some of the air conditioning units were also ineffective against temperatures around 40 degrees and had to be used in the most ‘needy’ areas.
  • Why are so many staff leaving BCHC? Jen was asked. There has not been a disproportionate number of leavers at all. The answers are various including family circumstances, moving house etc, all very individual reasons, as they would be in any business/ occupation.
  • Emma Teadale of Healthwatch was scheduled to join us in one of our meetings to talk about the work of her organisation. For a variety of reasons that has not yet taken place and the group was asked when they thought it would be a good time to invite her. It was decided that we offer her time during the September /October meeting, whichever will suit her.
  • AC asked if the CQC report following the inspection has been received. We were told that it was a good report overall but that there were some issues surrounding the safety over the management of high-risk medications. The practice has appealed about this part of the report and the outcome is awaited.
  • A story was told about a patient receiving an unexpected call from a Social Prescriber who had felt that she was being given financial advise. Social Prescribers do no give this advice but do let people know about potential benefit entitlements. Unfortunately, this upset the patient a little and it was thought that it could be confusing to some people even though it was done with the best of intentions. JN to feedback to Social Presribers.

JN and TS thanked the members for their attendance and closed the meeting at 7.05pm.

Next Meeting: 18.08.22