PPG Minutes 17th August 2023

  • Date: Thursday 17 August 2023
  • Time: 5pm
  • Location: Sheepmarket Surgery and Online 


  • Julie Clarke (JC) PPG Committee Chair (in person)
  • Elaine Hooper (EH) PPG Committee Member (in person)
  • John Morphy Godber (JMG) PPG Committee Member (in person)
  • Petar Opacic (PO) PPG Committee Member (in person)
  • Alison Warrick (AW) PPG Committee Member (in person)
  • Harrish Bisnauthsing (HB) PPG Committee Member (in person)
  • Paul Matthews (PM) PPG Committee Member (in person)
  • Liz Thompson (LT) PPG Committee Member (Co-Opted) (in person)

Lakeside Staff

  • Dr Gavin Cattigan (GC) GP Partner/Non-Executive Director - Lakeside Healthcare Stamford
  • Emma Wilson (EW) Operations and Compliance Manager – Lakeside Healthcare Stamford


none received


Chair’s welcome

JC welcomed the PPG and introduced Liz Thompson, who wished to be co-opted onto the committee and confirmed a vote would be held later in the meeting.  She also introduced Hassan, who has joined the Reception Team as part of the drive to improve the patient experience.  He comes from a retail background and is looking forward to his new role. 


Minutes of last meeting

A proposal that the minutes of the June PPG meeting was accurate was made by HB and seconded by AW.


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

JC reported that she had attended the Lakeside PPG Chairs’ meeting, hosted by CEO Jessica Bawden, on 14 August and confirmed that she would be attending a Lincs ICB county-wide PPG Chairs’ meeting the day after this meeting.  She also confirmed that there will be a further Lakeside PPG Chairs’ meeting online on 13 November, which she is unable to attend and asked for a member to attend in her absence.  JMG confirmed that he will attend.

Following a concerning number of issues raised with the PPG about patients’ experience at reception, JC has been invited to the Receptionists’ monthly meeting on 30 August to address the staff directly, to explain the role of the PPG and how we address, or pass on, concerns raise by patients. She will report back at the September meeting.

A matter arising from the last meeting was the question of further recruitment, particularly to the dispensary staff, which should be included in Lakeside’s update in item 4.

A PPG member had suggested that item 3 of the agenda (Chair’s report) and item 4 (Declarations of any other business) should be omitted from the regular agenda, in an effort to save time at the beginning of the meeting and that these items could be added at the end of the meeting, when Lakeside have left and the PPG discusses internal processes.  JC said that the Chair’s report should remain and that she writes her report in short bullet points, so that it takes no more than five minutes. It contains information that Lakeside needs to hear, so that they are aware of the PPG’s activities and there are occasionally matters brought up which they need to address.  JC and the rest of the PPG did, however, accept that the declarations of any other business could be left off, since these are matters which can be brought up at the end of the meeting.


Lakeside Update

  • EW reported that Doctrin was currently paused, due to a backlog having occurred, which needed to be addressed as a matter of urgency.  She said that calls to the surgery had significantly increased due to this, with records showing that 1,632 calls had been answered in the past week.
  • The number of items dispensed had increased from 2,300 to 2,600 items in the past week.
  • Lakeside were looking forward to welcoming the PPG Chair to the monthly Receptionists’ meeting.
  • Doctrin, once re-opened will be available for longer hours, although the details are still to be determined, but EW will inform the PPG once agreed.
  • Process improvement staff from Lakeside’s Corby HQ carried out a detailed ‘operational excellence’ review of the practice and spoke directly to members of staff from all areas. Some feedback has been received and it has been agreed that it has improved skills development and morale amongst staff, and that the appraisal should happen annually. GC said that, due to the school holidays, it will be difficult to give a picture which represents normal circumstances, but there are benefits in the assessments and areas which have improved have also been identified.
  • A new GP has been recruited and will join the practice in October. Other new staff include a senior pharmacist, dispensing assistants and a paramedic.

PO asked whether it would be possible for the PPG to meet the process improvement staff from Corby, perhaps via a Teams meeting.  EW will make enquiries and revert.


PPG Member questions for Lakeside and correspondence from patients

  • PM asked what Lakeside what Lakeside’s plans were for St Mary’s surgery and whether they were in negotiation over continued use. Hed also asked what the plan was for continued care following the expansion of Stamford. GC said that there are always at least two GPs there every day, as well as other clinical practitioners when needed and specialist treatments for certain conditions are administered there, as well as a full time dispensary. On the matter of the future of St Mary’s Surgery, GC reiterated what he had reported to HB, in that this was in the hands of the leaseholders, Lincolnshire NHS ICB. [HB has agreed to take this up directly with Lincs IBC, in his capacity as District Councillor]. GC also undertook to revert regarding St Mary’s surgery, when he has more information, at the October or November PPG meeting.
  • AW asked when Doctrin would be re-introduced. GC said it could be as early as next week, but that it should be clear that the system is not for emergencies, but routine requests. JC asked Lakeside to confirm that patients can now make appointments (if they are available) at the desk for future consultations.  EW confirmed that this is now the case, but said that there are a finite number of appointments available and these are made available to personal callers, those phoning in and those using SystmOnline. Nobody is given priority and appointments are given out in turn. 
  • JC asked when appointments are released daily. GC said they are released at 8am and 11am. JC asked why patients were not being told this, as it must be useful for people who work, or do school runs at 8am.  She asked that receptionists, or administrators on the telephone let people know that appointments are available twice a day.  LT said this would have been very useful information for her, as a mother of young children, as she works full time and would have liked to have known that she didn’t need to join the 8am queue, which has seriously hampered her work commitments. GC confirmed that appointments are available for 3, 7 and 10 days in advance, but it was a difficult process to manage, as there are days when there are less doctors than other days, so there may not be the same amount of appointments available on any given day
  • JC asked EW to explain the newly introduced care navigation guide.  This relies on patients, who are prepared to give short (not necessarily detailed) reports of what their complaint is.  This enables the staff, who have been trained on the system, to be able to direct patients towards the most suitable practitioner.  Many patients who call for appointments do not need to see a GP.  There are, however, patients who do not wish to discuss conditions with administrative staff. This is understandable and no patient will be required to give details they are not comfortable sharing, but the Practice accepts it need to communicate better to patients how little information they may need to give.  Used correctly, the care navigation system could significantly reduce waiting times for patients who could be sent directly to a non-GP practitioner. 
  • JC asked whether the dispensary could be kept open at lunchtime. EW said that not all staff are trained pharmacy dispensers, so they could not offer a service whilst trained staff are at lunch.
  • PO asked whether it would be possible for the PPG to meet the process improvement staff from Corby, perhaps via a Teams meeting.  EW will make enquiries and revert.

Patient Correspondence:

The PPG had sent, in advance, a summary of issues and concerns from patients and asked for these to be addressed in items 4 or 5]

JC confirmed that a short summary of patients’ concerns had been forwarded to Lakeside.  She did, however, accept that it had been provided late, due to her own work and health commitments.  Additionally, the PPG had been given notice that GC and EW could only attend the meeting until 5.50pm, due to there being and Enhanced Service evening surgery and they had patient commitments.  It was agreed that Lakeside should provide responses in writing after the meeting. These would be shared with the PPG once received.



JMG, EW and JC gave reports on their drop-in sessions at both surgeries.

JC gave details of the upcoming patient engagement session on 19 September. She had spoken with Trustees of SHEAC, who had kindly offered to hold a joint event with us and would cover the cost of the venue hire.  They have also been able to provide a speaker who specialises in both diabetes and sleep disorders, Professor Jon Whitehead, Co-Lead of Diabetes, Metabolism and Inflammation (DMI) Research Group at the University of Lincoln. JC said she was due to be on holiday the week before and asked for help with publicising the event and posting leaflets.  She confirmed that the Stamford Mercury would publish an article, letting patients know that the event will take place, once again in the lounge of the Stamford Corn Exchange, which is wheelchair accessible.



Liz Thompson introduced herself to the rest of the PPG, with details of her work and family in Stamford, having a background in both law and education.  She discussed her experience of using the town’s surgeries and what she felt she could contribute to the work of the PPG.  It was unanimously agreed that Liz should join the committee.


Date/Time/Location of next meeting

Tuesday 19 September 2023 at Stamford Corn Exchange (to include a Patient Engagement Event, which means the PPG meeting will be curtailed to 30 minutes)
5:00-5:50pm – Committee meeting.  5:30-6:30pm Patient Engagement Event.