Meeting Minutes February 2023

Meeting Date: 16th February 2023
Time: 7:30pm via Zoom



Chris introduced a new member to the group.


Conflicts of Interest



Minutes of the Previous Meeting

Read and Agreed.


Actions from the Previous Meeting

  • Trauma-informed training - Chris has tried to make contact a few times, but had no response, will look at somewhere else - Action completed.
  • Digital Access - AccuRX going well despite not being advertised, 1400 were delivered last month.  Will advertise when we have more Patient Advisors.
  • Messaging System - It was raised by a patient who had sent a request but felt he had not received a reply It was asked what proportion of replies not getting through. - Chris discuss this with HM, will email the outcome to PVG. - A lot of admin messages are coming through via AccuRX, allowing us to manage/action requests at better times.  Not a quick fix but will be a benefit to the practice - Action ongoing 
  • Mapping of Appointments - Current Rota Manager is transferring into a new role and will train up her replacement. PVG will meet the new Rota Manager at a future meeting. - Ca G will discuss mapping in April. When the rota team is more settled and time is available to look through this work - Action ongoing
  • Online Appointment Booking - Discuss in April - Action ongoing
  • Enhanced Access Service - Being promoted on FB, will continue to build. Saturday clinics are going well - Action completed
  • Strep A info - Info sent to Stanleys. - Chris has been to Stanleys twice, talked to young people there about access to the surgery, will invite them to the PVG meeting at some point - Action completed 
  • Young Persons Dedicated Service - Chris attended an event at the Town Hall and spoke to young people about their hopes and understanding in many areas, the hope is we can guide these young people into understanding how to use of the NHS. Chris found this event helpful. - Lot of work to do to educate our youth in how best to use the health service correctly and how best to look after their own health - Action completed

Practice Update

Staff Movement

Lots of movement of staff within various areas of the practice:

  • Two Patient Advisors left
  • One has transferred to another department
  • One Site Manager has transferred across to another department within the practice.

This along with some of the team leaving for pastures new had left us around 10-12 Patient Advisors short, however, following a large recruitment drive 10 new Patient Advisors have been recruited and are starting in the middle of March. - Chris asked the group to bear in mind the training process/timescales.  

  • Planning to recruit Patient Advisors twice a year to keep on top of staffing numbers.
  • The Senior Medicines Management Officer and Pharmacist are leaving, recruitment will be done for replacements.
  • Trainee ACP started in January, Dr Bilgrami (GP), Practice Nurse, and a Pharmacy Tech in Feb.   

Telephone Wait Times

Chris was asked what the current telephone wait time is, however, he was unsure of these figures but will find this information out and email the figures to the group.

  • Action - Obtain telephone wait times and email figures to the group

What does the group hope to achieve from these meetings

Chris discussed the importance of the group’s growth and for the members to get as much out of the meetings as the practice does. He asked the group members what they would like to achieve, and a few suggestions were raised:

PVG members said they like to be kept up to date with what is going on and if required add a different level of input that the practice doesn’t get from patients. It was discussed that if there was more understanding about what is happening, then the group members can help spread the word around the community to raise awareness of the things that are being done and put into place for improvement. 
Chris suggested a newsletter from the group would be beneficial.  

Chris raised the idea of sending surveys to the group for feedback, as often in a group setting members may not speak as freely as they would on a survey.  This idea was welcomed by the group however it was noted that this would only work provided action is taken on the results.    

Chris asked the group that agenda items be set by the group and this was welcomed, however a member highlighted that any agenda item suggestions they have made previously have still not yet reached any agenda. PVG member felt that areas of patient access and continuity of care are areas for discussion. 

PVG member offered to do a presentation to the group on national data about the practice.  This was agreed and Chris will add this to the next agenda.

  • Action - Add data presentation to the agenda for the next meeting  - 10 mins
  • Action - Chris pass on national data information from AW to SW with consent
  • Action - Chris look into other agenda items suggested by AW for future meetings

Concern was raised that patient members of the group previously heavily outnumbered staff members, however this is no longer the case.  The feeling is that if the group gained the attention of the management regarding issues raised and actions were seen to be taken,  then this would draw members back. Chris highlighted that many issues raised at the meetings have been feedback and action has been taken, resulting in improvement, especially with regards to patient access.  

Chris suggested a member of the group take the place of Chair at the meetings.

Chris informed the group of work that is going on for Wellbeing Champions to work within the schools. He explained that he would like to bring some of these people to the meetings. 
Stanleys have offered to provide a meal, have an interactive chat,  and Chris hopes this will happen in the future.   

Patient Advisor (SD) raised a suggestion that she would like to be able to feedback problems/positivity to colleagues regarding items raised at the meeting, she feels this would be beneficial for learning and understanding.

Chris informed the group that we send an internal weekly positive email within the practice, this highlights positive comments from patients and colleagues and is helpful for staff to hear positive things that are going on in the practice.

A discussion took place regarding the change in how patients are now seeing the practice, there has been a huge upturn in positivity, especially regarding access and how patients are treated by the Patient Advisors and the medical team.  This is a positive change and extremely encouraging.   

Patient Advisor (SD) informed the group of her involvement in the training of the new recruits and noted her enthusiasm for this.

She explained she had a good shift today with the telephone waiting time being around 4 – 5 minutes, then went onto discuss the education of patients with regards to ringing the surgery at better times of the day for requests like prescriptions, sick notes etc.  She highlighted that as we are open until 6.30pm, ringing later in the day for such requests when the phone lines are less busy is beneficial.

PVG member suggested they bring individual or other’s problems to the group for discussion in the hope this will help raise awareness of problems that is  going on within the practice.  

PVG member noted that there is a lot of documented national data that can be shared.  They feel the main role of the group is not to be a public face, but is in the input of the feedback loop, and feels it would be valuable if issues were actioned and heard by management.

A discussion took place on who should be the voice for patients and the question was raised that it should be the Patient Engagement Manager, taking on the role of hearing the voice of individual issues, however Chris informed the group that although he deals with written patient complaints that come into the practice, he assumes there may be many grumbles out there that are not highlighted. 

Chris hoped for a monthly newsletter from the group, online/printed version would be informative and a voice.  Issues patients have could be included in the newsletter with outcomes, however he suggested that the group members would need to take on this role.

This idea was welcomed by the group and Chris highlighted that although he doesn’t have the time to take on such a role to his already busy schedule, he would be more than happy to work with the members on this.    

It was discussed that the use of the video screens within the practice are useful for patient information, and it was agreed for Chris to ask IT to add something regarding the PVG group to the screens.  
It was suggested printing a slim downed version of the PVG minutes  for reception areas.

  • Action - Speak to Cath about adding PVG info to the screens
  • Action - Look into arranging a slim downed version of the PVG minutes to be printed and put in the reception areas
  • Action - Arrange for the PVG minutes to be added to the website

What the practice hopes to achieve from these meetings

The practice hopes to get feedback from others and use this feedback to help develop improvement within the practice.

A group that will share information with the wider patient cohort and a visible asset to the practice.


What are the next steps, so everyone is involved

PVG member suggested their email addresses could be shared with one another, therefore allowing them to have discussions with each other outside of the group regarding practice issues, which they could bring items raised to future meetings.  Chris agreed it would be good for the members of the group to be more interactive with each other, however consent would need to be given by each member regarding sharing their email address.  Chris will create a consent form and obtain approval by the relevant team.  He expressed that use of emails would only be allowed for the PVG members and specific to the group/meetings.    

  • Action - Create a consent form, run it by the appropriate team regarding GDPR, then email to the group  

A PVG email address was suggested for the future.


Proposal for a Patient Voice Event

A discussion took place regarding sessions that used to take place at HPCC where PVG members attended a session to speak to patients in the practice about what we do.

Chris noted that he is happy for this to be done again and will allocate some time to join the PVG members on this.

  • Action - Ask for volunteers for PVG members to speak with patients at a session at HPCC


Cervical Screening figures

PVG member asked what the current cervical screening figures are.  Dr Ahktar was unsure of the figures but will obtain these and ask Chris to feedback. Dr Akhtar explained that patients are invited centrally from NHS England and BMG gets the results.  A discussion took place and concern was raised regarding the drop in uptake of cytology.

Chris expressed that promotions have been done on social media to help educate patients/raise awareness and uptake. 

  • Action - Speak to Admin team about % figures for cytology and feedback to PVG member SW

PVG Meeting Agenda

It was suggested and agreed that the agenda for any meeting is sent to the group sooner than the week of the meeting.  This will give the members time to review the agenda and collate any relevant information they wish to discuss. - Chris agreed this would be beneficial.     

Minutes of the meeting are emailed to the group not long after the meeting with a further copy emailed again with the agenda.

GP member of the group

Chris informed the group that a GP should be joining the group in place of Dr Howard Moore.  This is yet to be confirmed.  

Future Meetings

Chris informed the group that future meetings will be a mixture of face to face and online. He talked of the use of the viscon unit at Heysham which allows any members who can’t attend in person to join the meeting remotely and be seen on the large screen.

He explained that we will no longer be using zoom for online meetings and will now transfer to MS Teams


Date of the next meeting

Thursday 20th April 2023 – (HPCC) – 7pm.

This meeting will be face-to-face and will also allow members who cannot attend to join remotely.


Rules of the meeting/purpose of the Chair

  • Read agenda and papers in advance of the meeting and arrive prepared.
  • All questions to be through the chair and only one person to speak at a time.
  • Stick to the items on the agenda 
  • Respect the role of the Chair and allow the Chair to undertake the role to the fullest extent.
  • For all decisions Chair to invite everyone present to give opinion without interruptions.
  • Vote on all decisions and those members not present must inform the Chair of their voting decisions in advance of the meeting.
  • Declare conflicts of interests.