PPG Minutes 18th April 2023

  • Date: 18th April 2023
  • Time: 5.00 pm
  • Location: Sheepmarket Surgery and Online (via Teams)
Attendees Position/Role
Julie Clarke (JC) PPG Chair
Ken Otter (KO) PPG Vice Chair
Elaine Hooper (EH) PPG Committee Member
Paddy Jelen (PJ) PPG Committee Member
John Morphy Godber (JMG) PPG Committee Member
Petar Opacic (PO) PPG Committee Member
Peter Roome (PR) PPG Committee Member
Alison Warrick (AW) PPG Committee Member
Anne Baldock (AB) PPG Committee Member
Simon Sandler-Vallance (SSV) PPG Committee Member
Lakeside Staff  
Dr Kate Tizzard (KT) GP Partner - Lakeside Healthcare Stamford
Emma Wilson (EW) Patient Services Manager – Lakeside Healthcare Stamford
Marion Pitt (MP) PPG Committee Member
Bill Proudlock (BP) PPG Committee Member

Chair’s welcome and introductions

The Chair welcomed attendees to the meeting and introduced new PPG members, Anne Baldock (AB) and Simon Sandler-Vallance (SSV).


Minutes of last meeting

To be agreed as accurate, proposed by PR and seconded by PO.


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

JC said that she continues to be disappointed to hear of patients’ comments second-hand and is told that some patients do not believe their concerns will be listened to, whether they contact the PPG, or the surgery. She said that the PPG needs to do more to communicate their role and autonomy. She urges all those who write, on behalf of others, or with anecdotal reports of issues, to ask those patients to contact the PPG themselves. She also asked the rest of the group to please do their utmost to encourage people who make verbal complaints to use Lakeside’s complaints system, or contact the PPG directly, as we take patients’ concerns to our monthly meetings. JC responds to all e-mails and refers patients to minutes of PPG meetings, which might also contain responses or resolutions to issues they have raised.

Lakeside had invited the PPG to contribute towards their review of appointment systems and JC hoped there would be further news of that in Lakeside’s update at item 5.


Declarations of any other business



Lakeside Update:  

EW reported that there was to be a return to next day and 7-14 day appointments, which could also be booked online. Same day appointments would still need to be made by telephone, but it is hoped that once the changes have been publicised and people know they can book future appointments, this will reduce the number of morning calls into the surgery. The new systems will incorporate a triage system for urgent (possible same day) appointments, so that patients can be assessed for face-2-face consultations with GPs, practice nurses, or other clinicians. Case which are considered urgent will always be seen on the day and there will be a ‘duty team’ of a GP and a practice nurse on hand every day, for those cases. In order to provide this improved service, the current system of reserving 20 appointments for patients being returned by the 111 service will be reduced to 9. It is expected that the new systems should, in turn, reduce the number of patients being referred to the 111 service.  The changes are expected to take place at the beginning of May, with booking lines opened at the end of April. She said that the re-introduced system would be reviewed after a few weeks and warned that there are likely to be teething problems at first, but that these could hopefully be addressed during ongoing reviews. 

During the update, the PPG posed a number of questions:

  • JC asked what the current process was for dealing with patient contacts via Doctrin. EW said that all messages are opened within one working day. There should then be a response within 3 working days and this should include either an appointment, a referral or advice within five working days. This means that if an appointment is offered, it will be sometime after that fifth working day, unless it is considered urgent by a clinician.
  • KO asked why Doctrin cannot be always available, rather than just during working hours. EW said that this had been a Lakeside group-wide decision. JC ask EW to liaise with Lakeside management and come back to the next meeting with a more definitive explanation.
  • PO asked whether Doctrin would ‘dovetail’ with SystmOnline. EW said they were two different systems, as Doctrin is designed for patients to give details of signs and symptoms and SystmOnline is simply an appointment booking system, but both should work alongside each other.
  • AW asked why the Practice insists on calls for appointments being made at 8am.  EW said this was due to resources available at that time of the day, due to staff working patterns. JC asked whether the Practice had considered the PPG’s suggestion to stagger appointments, so that those who work, or carry out school runs can call later in the day. EW said that Lakeside are considering this, but that it must fit in with available staff resource and said that the new online booking systems being introduced this month should cut down the number of people who need to call the surgery telephone lines to book appointments.
  • JC asked whether a system could be put in place to deal with patients who fail to arrive for appointments, so the appointments are not wasted. She suggested an ‘open waiting room’, where patients could, should they choose, wait for the availability of a doctor who had a free period when somebody didn’t arrive for an allotted appointment. Dr. Tizzard said that the vast majority of appointments which were missed were not for GPs but were for specialist practice nurses and other practitioners. These couldn’t necessarily be used for other purposes. She also felt that having a walk-in waiting room would increase queues at the surgery. 

Other comments made, for Lakeside’s consideration, included the necessity for patients to be able to choose to see a male of female doctor specifically and for clinicians to call patients who fail to turn up for appointments as a matter of process. Lakeside to consider and respond.

[EH left the meeting at this stage, to attend Town Council]


Correspondence received from patients:

JC reported on correspondence that the PPG had received from patients and referred to an e-mail which had been sent to Lincs Integrated Care Board (ICB) which she had been copied into. She summarised the email, but said she would forward a copy to Lakeside, so that they are aware of the issues.

This was the end of the formal meeting and Lakeside staff left at 6.15pm to return to surgery duties. The committee continued until 6.30pm


PPG Communications

Telephone line for patients to contact the PPG:
JMG had raised the possibility of there being a telephone line made available for patients wishing to contact the PPG directly and particularly for those with sensory impairments, or not online. JC said that the matter should be added to the next agenda, to be discussed with the Practice. JMG will draft a proposal, giving a brief description of how it might work.

Re-instatement of drop-in sessions:
KO reported that the newly-printed banners, sign-posting patients to PPG Volunteers, had been delivered and that they would be left at each surgery. He suggested that the drop-in sessions should be held close to PPG meetings, so that issues brought up would be fresh and could be discussed at the meetings. He asked for PPG members to volunteer to attend sessions and asked that they contact him.  He also said that he had liaised with Lakeside’s communications team, with a view to having the PPG better sign-posted on the website and that those discussions were still ongoing. He described improvements already made to the website and asked for suggestions from the group.

June PPG/Patient engagement event:
JC asked the group for suggestions about guest themes and guest speakers for the PPG Patient Engagement event in June. It was agreed that there should be two themes: Diabetes and nutrition. JC will speak to Lakeside and the Stamford Health, Education and Awareness Charity (SHEAC), who have offered their support.





Date of next meeting

As per annual Calendar – Wednesday 17 May 2023 – 5pm Sheepmarket