PPG Minutes 17th May 2023

  • Date: 17th May 2023
  • Time: 5.00 pm
  • Location: Sheepmarket Surgery and Online
Attendees Position/Role In person or Virtual
Julie Clarke (JC) PPG Committee Chair In Person
Elaine Hooper (EH) PPG Committee Member In Person
Paddy Jelen (PJ) PPG Committee Member In Person
John Morphy Godber (JMG) PPG Committee Member In Person
Petar Opacic (PO) PPG Committee Member In Person
Marion Pitt (MP) PPG Committee Member  
Peter Roome (PR) PPG Committee Member In Person
Alison Warrick (AW) PPG Committee Member In Person
Anne Baldock (AB) PPG Committee Member In Person
Lakeside Staff    
Gavin Cattigan  (GC) GP Partner - Lakeside Healthcare Stamford  
Emma Wilson (EW) Patient Services Manager – Lakeside Healthcare Stamford  
None received    

Chair’s welcome

The Chair welcomed the PPG and confirmed that she had accepted the resignation of the Vice Chair, Ken Otter.


Minutes of last meeting

The minutes were proposed as accurate by JG 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’ quarterly meeting, where they had been presented with an overview of the results recent patient survey. Results are still being reviewed, but she was able to confirm that there had been 273 responses and that the three largest issues were dissatisfaction with telephone access, appointment availability and appointment types. The survey showed that the majority of respondents were over 45 and were female. Lakeside’s CEO has said that the next steps, in response, are to consider the results and agree an action plan, which will be shared with the PPGs.

On matters arising from the last meeting: JMG has prepared a proposal for a part-time phone line for patients to contact the PPG directly, to be discussed in item 7. EW had been asked why Doctrin was not available out of hours, to be discussed in item 5. Lakeside were asked to consider a process whereby patients can request male or female doctors and the PPG awaits a response


Declarations of any other business

JMG to discuss the weekly workflow report.

[Post-meeting note: JMG had to leave the meeting before item 8. To be added to future agenda]


Lakeside Update:  

EW reported that the Practice had received positive feedback on the re-introduction of the new appointment systems, including online bookings and future appointments and said that, although there had been no reduction in the number of patients using Doctrin, there had been a reduction in both visitors to reception and 8am incoming calls. The reception staff now have a navigation guide, which helps them to direct patient requests to the right clinician or type of appointment. The Practice had welcomed the Doctrin team (from Sweden) when they visited the surgery and were able to provide a verbal feedback on its use. On the question of opening up the Doctrin service out of hours, she said that it was not considered an enhanced service, hence its hours being core, but the partners are considering opening it up later in the evening. GC said that the Practice had never normally booked weekend appointments and that they had not seen any increase in the numbers using the system from when it was available longer. The Practice Partners will be holding a meeting on Friday and will discuss the matter then.

GC reported that further access initiatives included duty doctors in reception to answer questions and perform ‘troubleshooting’ tasks. He was pleased to say that, for the first time in a long time, the morning appointment call lines were completed and there were still appointments left for online and later urgent calls. He said, however, that there had been an increase in missed appointments.


PPG Member questions for Lakeside and correspondence from patients

PJ asked how far ahead future appointments could be made and EW confirmed it is two weeks.

[MP left the meeting at 5.25pm]

JC asked why appointments could not be made for further in the future and said that some people, with long-standing conditions and non-emergencies would be content to wait longer, as long as they had an appointment in their diary. She also said that people may have to make an appointment when they are about to go on holiday and would be happy to be seen when they get back. GC said that he believed this would lead to a higher number of non-attendees. Other members of the PPG noted that they often receive texts from their dentists, or from hospitals, confirming (and reminding of) appointments and asked whether the Practice could consider this. GC said that they did not have the type of software that would facilitate this. JC asked whether they could consider investing in it, to avoid non-attendance.

JC read out concerns and issues received directly from patients, including urgent need for prescriptions for those who had attended hospital. DG said that hospitals are contracted, under their NHS obligations, to issue up to 1 month’s prescription medication, if needed, when patients are discharged under any circumstances. Other matters raised were noted by EW, who undertook to investigate and respond. JC said that when patients contact the PPG with concerns that amount to complaints, she directs them to Lakeside’s own online complaints form, but thought is was not very user-friendly, as it was combined with the “contact us” form and the complaints facility was not obvious until the patient scrolled down the page. She asked whether Lakeside could speak to their IT team, with a view to having it made clearer.

PJ asked how complaints are dealt with. EW said they are acknowledged within 72 hours. The Practice policy is then to deal with complaints within 28 days, but this may take longer if there is a detailed investigation to be undertaken.

AW asked whether Covid booster vaccinations, for vulnerable and older patients, could be given at more external centres, since the last clinic (held at the Arts Centre) saw long queues and that the vaccines ran out while people were still in line. GC said that the Covid booster programme is now managed by the Lincs Integrated Care Board (ICB) and that they liaise directly with NHS England. However, care needs to be exercised when choosing an external centre, since the vaccines are temperature-sensitive and there are limited spaces where this could happen.

PO asked Lakeside what they believed the Practice’s top three priorities were. GC said access to appointments is their number one priority and that they also need to communicate better with patients. He appreciates the difficulty in this aspiration, following events post-Covid and the resultant CQC rating, but he wants the Practice to work hard to get back patients’ trust and confidence. He said he fully appreciates the relationship patients have with both Sheepmarket and St Mary’s surgeries. EW said that the Practice would like to improve the overall patient experience, including better engagement, with help from the PPG.

[JMG left the meeting at 6.15pm]



A copy of JMG’s proposal for a voluntary part-time phone line to be made available for patients to contact the PPG directly, had been distributed. JMG presented details, which included a dedicated mobile phone number, where messages could be left, to be reviewed, shared with the PPG and (where necessary, responded to). Calls would be collated and form part of the monthly feedback with the Practice. JC said that it needed to be made clear in the welcome message that private medical information should not be left and that the phone line was not a substitute for Lakeside’s procedural complaints system. The Practice agreed that there was no objection to the PPG introducing a phone line, nor to the details of the proposal. The group agreed that it should go ahead as a pilot scheme, to be reviewed in due course.

Following the resignation of Ken Otter, JMG had offered to take on the role of Comms Lead and JC asked the group whether they were happy to endorse that. The group unanimously agreed that JMG should take on the role.

JC said that the drop-in sessions had re-commenced and that she had attended Sheepmarket, as well as joining EW at St Mary’s this week. She asked for volunteers to attend both surgeries, in an effort to try to maintain a fortnightly presence and asked that PPG members let her know. She said she has prepared some small flyers to be made available on the days volunteers were in attendance and would have them printed prior to the next meeting.





Date of next meeting

Tues 13 June 2023, Stamford Corn Exchange 5pm (to include Patient Engagement Event 5.30-6.30pm)