PPG Minutes (6 June 2023)

Minutes of the meeting held on Tuesday 6th June at 19.00hrs

Present: Ces Smith (Chair), Margaret Perrin (Secretary), Charlotte Gorman.  Shayne Smith., Jane Ingham, Natasha Bojanowski, Alastair Knight. Rob Walker, Nick Gamble (Guest).

Apologies, Peter Welsh, Denise Richards, Frank Soden. Jenny Walker

Minutes of the last meeting were agreed. Proposed,Shayne Smith, Seconded Cec Smith.

Matters arising from the previous meeting. Nil.

New Members

There was a debate on how to select new members on to the PPG, at the February PPG meeting it was agreed that Jane would write to each patient on the waiting list asking them what they felt they could offer the group and why they wished to become a member. Jane has written to the candidates and is still awaiting replies. Jane will present her findings at the next meeting which is on 8th August.

At present we have three vacancies.

Telephone Update:

Charlotte reported that the new telephone system is working well, and she circulated a management telephone report which I have attached for your perusal.

Margaret reported that the call back system works and is very popular with the patients.

Charlotte reported that the average queue time has decreased from 7 minutes to 4 minutes.

Also staffing levels have been tweaked to suit the volume of calls.

Process for Food Bank Vouchers:

Each food bank works with different frontline professionals, doctors, health visitors and social workers. You can apply for food vouchers from the living well team at the surgery. There are at present 3 team members covering 6 practices of which there is a day for each one. The surgery is at present recruiting another member to join the team. Some patients are having trouble in accessing the vouchers and Charlotte informed the group that she will investigate.

New staff: Workflow:

All follow up letters from the hospitals go to the GPs, new staff are being trained to carry out this task to reduce administration time for the doctors. Charlotte reported that this system is working well with a reduction from 1937 letters handled by the doctors in April which is now down to 537 which is a reduction of 18% freeing up more of the doctor’s time.


There is a language line available at the surgery for overseas visitors/residents and must be pre booked by the patients.

Social Prescribing:

Social prescribing is both practical and emotional support for patients requiring help and often begins with a referral from either a doctor, link worker, hospital, or charity. There is a living well team of 3. One of which is a mental health nurse operating from the surgery and they can be accessed through reception. The surgery is at present trying to recruit an additional two more staff members.

 Surgery News:

Charlotte reported that Last October same day and next day appointments opened, she is looking to open more appointments whenever possible. The target is to see patients within a two-week period. This is monitored on a regular basis.

Some patients are abusing the appointment system by making an appointment with a duty doctor when another clinician would do.

Charlotte reported that the doctors at present are working over what is considered the safe number of appointments per day.


At present the practice has four trainee GPs

Other Areas of Discussion

A member of the group enquired about the treatment of the reception staff by patients. Charlotte reported that the abuse was continuing,

Staff are having training on how to handle awkward patients.

One member asked what percentage of patients are signed up online. Charlotte explained that patients are being directed towards the NHS App. Telephones are the main route for booking appointments.

Charlotte is looking at the patches system at present which will offer an online triage system to decide if the patient can book online doctor’s appointment. Charlotte to report later.

Guest Speaker:

Nick Gamble who lives in Little Somerford who is also a patient at the practice is a volunteer member of the board of governors of the Royal United Trust in Bath and has been for the last 10 years. Nick gave a short talk on his role as a governor. There are 2 board of governors representing North Wiltshire of which he is one. Nick represents trust member, patients, and the public in North Wiltshire. He sits on a medication safety group, and he reviews new medication going out. He also reviews patient feedback to the RUH board.

He explained that the role of governors is to represent members of the trust and the patients. The governors are divided into 7 constituents.

He explained that the RUH structure is set by the NHS England with a board of directors and a certain number of non-executive directors who can be challenged by the governors if needed.

Nick was asked how governors get in touch with the public to attain feedback, he will be attending PPG meetings throughout North Wiltshire. He said that it is difficult to get feedback, PALS might give feedback to governors. Personal connections and experience are useful.

He asked if anyone had any feedback from the group and if they did, they could contact him direct. On [email protected]

Meeting closed: 8.10.

Margaret Perrin


Meeting dates for 2023

  • 8th August (AGM)
  • 3rd October
  • 5th December