PPG Minutes 13 December 2023

  • Date: 13 December 2023
  • Time: 5pm
  • Location: Stamford Corn Exchange Lounge (prior to quarterly patient engagement session)


  • Julie Clarke (JC) PPG Committee Chair
  • Elaine Hooper (EH) PPG Committee Member
  • Paul Matthews (PM) PPG Committee Member
  • Harrish Bisnauthsing (HB) PPG Committee Member
  • Hassan Bhamani (HBi) Patient Services Team Lead – Lakeside Healthcare Stamford
  • Patient Engagement Presenter: (from 5.30pm - not present for PPG meeting) Antonio Visiello Community Trainer – East Midlands Ambulance Service


  • John Morphy Godber (JMG) PPG Vice Chair
  • Liz Thompson (LT) PPG Committee Member

Chair’s welcome

JC welcomed the committee and confirmed that this would be a shorter meeting than usual; curtailed due to the patient participation event starting at 5.30pm until 6.30pm, meaning that the agenda would be shorter than normal. Issues specific to PPG activities, such as Communications, would also be carried over.


Minutes of last meeting

The November minutes were proposed as accurate by PM and seconded by HB.


Chair’s update (including matters arising from minutes of last meeting)

JC reported that she and EH had attended drop-in session at both Sheepmarket and St Mary’s and had handed out documents for the upcoming AGM, including Agenda and last AGM minutes. She confirmed that the AGM will take place at Stamford Town Hall on Monday 15 January at 6pm and that the Town Council had kindly agreed to a reduced rate for the venue hire, taking into consideration that the PPG is a not-for-profit organisation.


Lakeside Update

HBi reported the following:

  • With regard to new clinical staff; three new GPs have joined the Practice in the past month; two of whom are partners, Dr Kathryn Berry and Dr Jean Awad and one salaried GP, Dr Romek Wiles. A new Lead Chemical Pharmacist joined this week and interviews are currently underway for Practice Nurses. One vacancy remains for reception staff.
  • New software is being introduced to replace the Doctrin system, which is coming to the end of its contract, enabling patients to make online bookings and request appointments. It is more user-friendly than Doctrin and offers more, including triaging, to enable patients to be directed to the most appropriate clinician. It also offers an emergency monitor, which allows described symptoms to be flagged as emergencies, enabling staff to act quicker than Doctrin would have allowed. Staff are currently undergoing training and patients will receive a direct communication in due course, advising them of the timetable for the change.
  • The Practice is concerned about difficulties in the car park at St Mary’s, as places are being used by members of the public who are not using the surgery, thereby taking up spaces needed for patients with appointments.
  • The dedicated flu clinics are now finished, but eligible patients are still encouraged to make appointments for the vaccination.

The following responses were raised by PPG members:

AW asked whether the Practice would consider using the same parking system at St Mary’s as the one in use at Sheepmarket, which prevents non-patients using the space. HBi said no decision had been made yet, but that was an option. HB asked whether any progress had been made on reducing the 8am wait on the telephone for patients. HBi said that there is a prominent noticeboard, showing staff how many people are in the queue and this is constantly monitored, to enable staff to get through the list as quickly as possible. AW asked how follow-up was monitored when patients had brought their issues to the attention of the Practice through the PPG. JC confirmed that issues which were not discussed at monthly meetings were passed to the Practice by e-mail, with a request for the patient to be contacted directly. This can sometimes mean that the PPG is no longer involved, but this may be necessary to maintain patients’ confidentiality. When patients bring their concerns to the PPG, they should be assured that they have been passed to, or discussed with the Practice, and if they require a response and do not hear back, they should then contact the Practice themselves. She reiterated that the PPG cannot intervene in any patient’s care pathway.


Date/Time/Location of next meeting

The next PPG meeting will include the AGM, at 6pm on Monday 15 January 2024 at Stamford Town Hall, in the Old Court Room, on the first floor. The space is fully wheelchair accessible.

The meeting concluded at 5.30pm, in readiness for the quarterly patient engagement event. The Chair introduced Antonio Visiello, Community Trainer – East Midlands Ambulance Service, who gave a presentation, entitled “How to Save a Life”, including a training session on the use of public defibrillators, as well as a discussion about checking for signs of a heartbeat. The Stamford Mercury were present to report on the event.