Patient Participation Group Meeting - June 17, 13:00
Present: (PPG) Victoria, Peter, Tony, Michael, Tim; (Surgery) Dylan, Gulhan, Shazia, Aliya
Apologies: (PPG) Jenni
Outcome of actions from last meeting
Victoria reported that use of and engagement with the practice facebook page has been picking up. It is now also linked with the facebook pages for the local area and Hackney Mutual Aid. In relation to the Primary Care Network and possible future meetings of all its members, Dylan and Victoria agreed that if it was infrequent and did not replace PPG meetings it would be fine.
Data sharing project
Dylan reported the surgery have received a fair number of data opt-out forms. He also reported the surgery received no advance information on it ahead of patients/public. The views on it at the surgery are mixed – the CCG data officer reflecting it would have benefits for health planning but had been badly handled by the government. In response to questions from Tim and Victoria, Shazia said that opting out would have no impact in relation to the sharing of information between hospitals or geographical areas for patient care.
Updates from the surgery
Dylan spoke about the need for improvements to the surgery itself, with a shortage of space and the surgery now handling almost double the number of patients as when the current site first opened. The broken bike racks have still not been removed by the council, in spite of repeat requests. Tony suggested that the surgery contact one of the local councillors.
Pandemic response and communication
Shazia asked how patients were finding the website for updates on vaccinations and how PPG members had themselves accessed vaccines. Victoria, Tony and Tim all said they booked online. Shazia and Dylan spoke about vaccine hesitancy in Hackney. The surgery has been proactive in speaking to patients who have not yet taken up their offer of a jab.
Improvements to the website to make it easier to read/access was mentioned and some members agreed that the new version was more pleasing to the eye, but that instead of generic photos that perhaps staff photos could be put up to make it more personal/real rather than commercial. Tony responded that the website felt overly complicated, with too many windows. Also, that there were several options for booking online, which was confusing, and seemingly a push to get patients to book online rather than phone. Dylan agreed the site could be simplified. He also said that it was not the intention to dissuade people from booking by phone and the surgery phone number for appointments would be made more prominent.
Aliya asked how members of the PPG currently get their prescriptions. Responses were a mix of online, through Patient Access, and the NHS app. Aliya reported that Patient Access may eventually be phased out in favour of the NHS app. The surgery is considering adding an online form that allows patients to request repeat prescriptions online, as well as medications they do not currently have on repeat. Victoria said she felt anything that increased patient choice was a good thing; Michael agreed and added that having the means of requesting a drug not currently on repeat without the need for an appointment would also be useful.
Dylan said that they hoped to return to practice walks following the new date when all restrictions should be lifted, currently 19th July. All practice patients would be welcome and the date and time(s) would be publicised. Victoria said that Inge, who used to manage the surgery garden, has now left the area, but she had offered to return on occasions to tend the garden. Victoria would assist. Dylan said they could be given access by the surgery. PPG members did not favour merging or replacing the surgery PPG with the PCN-wide larger group, but said they would be open to occasional meetings with other PPG members.
Next meeting dates
Thursday 16th September 2021 and Thursday 2nd December 2021