Markyate Surgery Patients’ Participation Group Minutes of the meeting held at Markyate Surgery on Tuesday 11th June 2013 at 00 P. M




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Markyate Surgery Patients’ Participation Group

Minutes of the meeting held at Markyate Surgery on Tuesday 11th June 2013 at 1.00 P.M.

Present: Corinne Ireland (Chair), Aban Sepai (Practice Manager), Rama (Dispenser), Denise, Maria and Sharon (Receptionists representing the surgery), Julian Taunton, Sheila Pilkinton, Anneke Kuiper.

Apologies: Tom Hodgson, Sheila Russell, Dawn Stafford



  1. Introductions

  2. Minutes of last meeting – minutes agreed as true record

Matters arising – It was suggested that Sheila might be better suited to the Virtual Group. Suggestion box not on display as yet, but is in progress. PPG members glad to see patient survey on display. Julian apologised for not having drafted a letter to the Parish Council re asking for support in finding out progress of the new development. Corinne Ireland apologised for not having made a poster to help recruit new members for the PPG. She asked if maybe she could have some help. Julian suggested asking Richard Peterson and Sheila Pilkinton suggested David Cosby, a new member of the Parish Council for help.

Action: carried forward from last meeting- Corinne to finish poster.

Action: suggestion box to be put on display in a suitable position.

  1. PPG Terms of Reference –Aban asked for this item to be brought forward in the agenda as it wasn’t discussed at the last meeting due to lack of time. Changes to be made on the ‘Terms of Reference; item 3 change from PCT to HVCCG. Aban handed out copies of the Parkwood Drive Patient newsletter as an example of good practice. Corinne asked if anybody wanted to make further changes. General consensus was to leave it as it was.

  2. Link from Care Group Website – it was agreed that a link could be made between care group website and the surgery website, agreed that this would be another way for people to know what the care group offers.

Action: Corinne to liaise with Aban.

  1. New development update – No updates from the Surgery. Sheila managed to find information on the Dacorum Planning website and discovered that building work on the surgery is set for Phase 4 which is due to start in July 2013. It was suggested that a letter be sent to the Dacorum Council asking them to give priority to the surgery taking into account all the issues that the surgery has. Could the letter come from Dr Sepai and then the PPG could also send a letter to support the letter from Dr Sepai. Aban has had no luck with regards to speaking to anybody directly about this issue. Sheila Pilkinton will give Aban phone numbers of relevant people to get hold of.

Action: Surgery to draft a letter to the Council once Sheila provides a contact name.

Action: Sheila to send a copy of the plans to Aban and relevant telephone contacts.

Action: Corinne to write a letter of support on behalf of the PPG.

  1. Conducting Patient Surveys – we could really do with widening the age range of the people who return the survey – HOW?

Suggestions made:

a) To advertise the virtual group more widely

b) Getting out into the village and conducting a ‘High street’ survey

c) Change the questions to make them more relevant

d) Advertise in the Markyate Monthly - news article, showing all the positives of the surgery following the results of the survey. (To include article in Flamstead, Slip End, Kensworth, Studham, Whipsnade magazines)

Action: Aban will send Corinne a copy of the survey questionnaire to amend/add further. Comments from the survey were grouped – 16 suggestions, 19 negatives, 15 positive.

Most of the negatives were to do with waiting times, but patients were happy with the care that they had received from the doctor after waiting for so long. There were some negative comments about reception - receptionists are working to further improve their patient rapport. Some negatives about the décor of the surgery-- this will be addressed with the new build but also a few touches have already been made by staff to brighten up the surgery reception and waiting rooms. The moving of the water dispenser was also seen as a positive to help patient comfort. A request had been made for out of hours appointments – is this viable? A request had been made for patients to receive information via email as opposed to having to call the surgery – this was discussed and has major implications on Data Protection. Only a certain amount of information can be put into emails/texts. Sheila asked if there was a way that patients could have a secure way of accessing their individual files via a password system like the online appointment method.

Request from Sursham Court – could we provide hearing aid batteries – we already do! Some patients are struggling to get up the stairs – doctors are accommodating, patients just need to let the receptionists know in advance, so that they can inform the doctors to move rooms.

Could we make these points clearer to patients?



Action: Aban to add to Markyate Monthly Good newsletter and in the Surgery ‘Information for Patients’ Booklet.

Self-service check in not appropriate for infection control – there are wipes kept on top of the filing cabinets for patients to use.

Could we answer the telephone with receptionist name – we do when dealing with certain problems when appropriate.


  1. A brief summary of external local events

Sheila attended an event relating to the new NHS 111 service and was very impressed with what the service has to offer and how it was run. Could we inform patients of the service in the Good News Letter?

Aban attended the HVCCG(Herts Valley Clinical Commissioning Group) event on 3 separate occasions since April 2013. Herts Valleys Clinical Commissioning Group (HVCCG) became responsible for commissioning (or buying) most health services on behalf of local people on 1 April 2013. HVCCG represents 70 GP practices in west Hertfordshire. We are governed by a Board that is mainly made up of local GPs and also includes a nurse, patient representatives, a secondary care (hospital) doctor along with executive officers such as the Accountable Officer and Chief Finance Officer. On all 3 occasions, there was a high level of attendance from Doctors, Practice Managers, Nurses, Emergency hospital staff, and many patient representatives, main focus of which was how to avoid admitting patients to A+E when not essential – there was lots of discussion and lots of groups came up with good ideas but nothing has been put to the panel as yet. Hoping information will come out in August 2013.



Aban recommends looking at the HVCCG website.

  1. Blood test update – HVCCG commissioned a local survey – they are still gathering the results of the survey before deciding whether to fund blood tests at Surgeries once more. Travelling to the hospitals is an on-going issue for some patients.

Action: PPG to write a letter to fuel the need for blood tests to return to surgery based on the transport issue. Madeleine Donohue is the patient representative for the Dacorum Patient Group, Corinne has been in touch with her.

Action: Could doctors please remind patients to look on waiting room boards for Phlebotomy opening hours at the 3 local hospitals? They could be signposted to the Blood Clinic leaflet which gives opening times for all except the L & D.

Corinne attended the Luton & Dunstable Hospital Drop-in meeting – group of staff who go around the hospital inspecting cleanliness, conditions and appearance of the hospital both inside and outside – Corinne has volunteered to join the group.



Sheila attended ‘Health Watch Herts’ – she was very disappointed, felt it was more of a complaining group than a Watch group.

  1. AOB

  1. Herts Help leaflets for patients already in waiting rooms, we are requested to advertise this service, and it’s a one stop hub of information for the wider public.

  2. CQC – Care Quality Commission is an independent regulator of all health and social care services in England. Their job is to check whether hospitals, care homes and care services are meeting national standards; dentist surgeries have been inspected they have started inspecting GP surgeries from April 2013– we are required to show compliance on a number of issues, they will give us 48 hours’ notice before coming to inspect and will need to speak to PPG members also.

Date of next meeting Wednesday 18th September 2013 at 7.00 P.M. at Markyate Surgery.


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