Patients Get Involved!
At our surgery we have a very lively PPG. (Patient Participation Group). We hold a meeting every few months where the members come and meet with one of the GP partners (that means, me or Kate) and Jo, the practice manager. Over a hot drink we discuss ideas and developments at Elborough Street Surgery.
After all, it is YOUR NHS.
We met today as the rain battered the window of the room in the loft meting room. We were few in number but we came up with some good ideas to take forward. Here is a sample of what we discussed. Patients are worried about the extended opening hours and wondering how we would cope. They have heard that the government want us to be open 8am-8pm seven days a week. They were also worried about the threat of a junior doctor strike. I mentioned that as a GP surgery in Wandsworth we are lucky. The Wandsworth GPs as a group are talking together and getting together. We met only last week and have decided that if these changes come in we want to take them on as a whole, join up and work together to deliver any changes to GP services. As a small practice we won’t be able to deliver these new services on our own.
We also talked about our most pressing problem at Elborough. Finding a new practice nurse. We are hunting far and wide for someone friendly and kind (with some experience) who wants to join the team. Wandsworth practices in general are finding it difficult to find practice nurses. Nurses, who bear the brunt of the frontline of the NHS, are being priced out of London. One of the patients suggested that if only we could club together and buy a house near the practice and rent out low cost rooms to essential NHS staff. …. We dreamed on. We are going to join a new Wandsworth initiative to train new practice nurses though. Watch this space for 2016. We are also going to look into the prospect of taking on am admin apprentice.
We discussed problems getting repeat prescriptions and how the new electronic system was making it harder for some patients to get their medicines- technology doesn’t always seem to be thought through before it gets rolled out in the great Titanic of the NHS. Someone suggested we do a patient survey of the best local chemists. Get a straw poll on who give the patients the best service. As GPs we are always being asked to provide feedback so great idea- let the patients tell the other patients where the best place to go locally with your prescription is. Jo is going to set this up.
I would really like to see a more diverse mix of patients in the PPG- so if you want to come and share your views, shape your local GP service and shelter from the storms and drink hot beverages in good company please do come and join us. You can contact Jo through the practice email firstname.lastname@example.org
We look forward to hearing from you……