Victoria & Mapperely Patient Participation Group
PPG Annual Report 2020
Writing this report is not easy as the déjà vu feelings take over. Was it only March when we headed into lockdown first? Only June when we started to come out? Only September when we started to go in again? Only December…you get where this is going…!
The lockdown of course meant we couldn’t have our AGM in April, but fortunately with Zoom we have overcome this.
During the past year we welcomed our new practice manager, Simon Jones and deputy manager Gill Crawford. Simon is responsible for the business management and administration of the practice and oversees the non-medical aspect of the patient’s health/treatment whilst Gill manages the day to day running of the practice and leads the patient recall process. Since joining the practice Simon has instigated the setting up of an additional clinician room at 858 which has provided the opportunity to increase the volume of appointments. Simon together with Dr Wheeler set up a system to receive patient documents from Nottingham University Hospitals electronically. This has resulted in a reduction in time spent manually transferring data.
Since March, Simons and Gills time has been constrained managing the responsibilities needed to ensure the practice complies with the policies and procedures required to operate safely through the pandemic.
We set ourselves seven Objectives for 2019/20 and I will now update you on the progress made against each of these.
1.Improve the demographic of the PPG Membership
Black, Asian and minority ethnic patients and those under the age of 45 are underrepresented within our PPG membership.
The PPG will continue to recruit membership from the Asian and minority ethnic community in our contact with the patients and seek to increase membership from patients under the age of 45. Where there is a vacancy in the Action Group, we will seek to recruit in a manner that more accurately reflects the practice demographics in terms of ethnicity and age
Current PPG membership stands at 95 of which 12% are from the BAME community. 18% of our membership is under 45 years of age.
Since our last AGM eight patients have left the practice and four are deceased.
One member of our Action group is from the BAME community.
We have decided against undertaking another recruitment drive. While these have been successful in increasing PPG numbers they have not resulted in an increase in active membership. However, we have asked clinicians to approach individual patients from the BAME community who may be interested in active participation and possible membership of the Action Group.
2. Enhancing our engagement with Virtual Members
The majority of our PPG membership are virtual members.
The Action Group will seek ways of communicating more effectively with virtual members so their views can influence the PPG agenda.
We have now established a number of methods to engage with virtual members. These include sending out minutes, newsletters and requests for questions in advance of PPG meetings by email/post.
3. Attendance at the CCG Network meetings
Effective Networking can inform best PPG practice.
The PPG will attend network meetings, seek meetings with other PPG’s and identify best practice that can influence our PPG and the Practice. The measurement of the effectiveness of this objective will be through reports to PPG meetings.
Members of the PPG have continued to seek ways of networking since the last AGM. This has been somewhat curtailed throughout the Corona virus pandemic but action group members have continued to work via Zoom and other on-line conferencing media.
Alan Wilson has established links with Connected Nottinghamshire, the organisation spearheading the integration of the NHS app in the City and County primary care network.
Debs Main has been appointed as a Nottingham and Nottinghamshire patient leader and has brought valuable insight to our PPG from other practices within the healthcare system.
In the past year Sue Clague has been appointed as Non-Executive Director for Patient Engagement at the newly merged Nottingham and Nottinghamshire Strategic Commissioning group. Sue has kept the PPG up to date with changes as the health and social care system moves towards place-based commissioning. Sue chairs the Strategic Patient Participation and Engagement group (PPEC) and ensures that regular communications are passed to the PPG to ensure awareness of best practice within GP networks.
4. Produce a practice Newsletter
In partnership with the Practice the PPG has taken responsibility for the production of the Practice Newsletter. This joint venture relies on articles written by staff and patients. The newsletter will be edited by the PPG secretary.
The PPG will extend the reach of the Practice Newsletter from its current waiting room, Practice website access and email distribution to include pharmacies in the local area.
The action group continue to collaborate with the practice in producing a combined Practice & PPG newsletter.
Since the last PPG AGM in April 2019 three newsletters have been published as follows.
Spring/Summer - published May 2019
Autumn/Winter - published October 2019
Covid 19 edition - published July 2020. This was a special edition to update patients following the coronavirus outbreak.
250 hard copies are printed and circulated via the patient waiting rooms, a copy is also uploaded to the practice website and PPG members are sent a copy via email.
We are pleased to report that the Covid 19 edition was also sent to patients via the patient text messaging service which significantly increased circulation to around 8000. We hope the practice will continue to do this with subsequent editions as this is a powerful means of communicating valuable health related information to patients.
5. Management of health focussed information in waiting rooms
The Practice identifies NHS Health priorities, publicity posters and information leaflets that are made available in waiting rooms.
The practice will provide Health Promotion resources and a member of the Action Group will be responsible for displaying them in waiting rooms.
Unfortunately, we have still not been able to display the health promotion/information as we had planned to. The information was difficult to access/obtain earlier this year and then of course the Covid 19 pandemic and subsequent limited use of the waiting rooms made it much less of a priority. We hope to reactivate the health promotion notice boards as soon as possible.
We wish to continue to develop our engagement with patients to assess their level of satisfaction in their non-clinical interaction with the surgery. This may include appointment systems, interaction with reception staff, access to public health information leaflets/posters, the patients experience of waiting for appointments and use of digital communication (NHS App).
In conjunction with the practice develop, agree and undertake surveys of the patient populations’ non-clinical experience. This objective will be met by evidence of completed surveys which will be fed back to the PPG and the practice.
The Action Group undertook two local surveys during the year seeking patients views principally on the telephone system and the making of appointments.
Members of the Group, attending and supporting a flu injection clinic at 858 in October, were able at the same time to obtain useful written comments from 46 patients who were at the Saturday morning session.
This was followed up by a “Secret Shopper” audit of telephone calls made to both surgeries by 4 members of the Action Group.
Both sets of survey results were discussed at the full PPG meeting in January with Practice Manager Simon giving the Practice’s response to the issues raised. Simon was also able to report that, in the long term, investigations into a unified telephone system covering both surgeries would be undertaken.
During January to March, just ahead of the pandemic lockdown, the usual Ipsos/Mori survey of patients experiences in their practice was carried out. Over 100 patients took part in the survey with the initial analysis suggesting positive feedback in many areas. A more detailed article on the results will be included in the Autumn newsletter.
7. Practice Website Review
The practice would value the support of the PPG in ensuring that information on the practice website is accurate and up to date.
On an annual basis the PPG will carry out a systematic review of the website content and feedback the results to practice management.
The existing website was reviewed and suggestions offered for changes/corrections to the content in the short term.
However, the main conclusion drawn from the review was that there is clearly a need for fairly major change. Connected Nottinghamshire and Patient Knows Best are leveraging the NHS app to make major strides in connecting patients with a host of digital resources. We feel there is an opportunity for the V&M practice to embrace and develop these new ways of working and explore ways of integrating them with a modern, forward-looking practice website. The PPG are happy to work with the practice to achieve this.