PPG Minutes 26th April 2022

  • Date: 26th April 2022
  • Time: 7.00 pm
  • Location: Stamford Town hall
Attendees Position/Role
Helen Walton PPG Chair (HW)
Bill Proudlock PPG Committee Member (BP)
Elaine Hooper PPG Committee Member (EH)
Steve Marsh PPG Committee Member (SM)
Mark Wibberley PPG Committee Member (MW)
Peter Roome PPG Committee Member (PR)
George Woolf PPG Committee Member (GW)
Marion Pitt PPG Committee Member (MP)
Dr Gavin Cattigan GP Partner (GC)
Dr Dan Petrie GP Partner (DP)
Dr Tom Eames GP Partner (TE)
Teri White Lakeside Hub Manager (TW)
Emma Wilson Lakeside Patient Services Manager (EW)
Dr Sian Dronfield GP Partner (SD)
Dr Kate Tizzard GP Partner (KT)
Apologies Position/Role
Paddy Jellen PPG Committee Member


  • LHC = Lakeside Healthcare
  • CQC = Care Quality Commission
  • PCN = Primary Care Network

Committee Meeting Minutes


HW opened the meeting by thanking everyone for attending and providing a Health and Safety briefing. She also advised the meeting that the PPG had not provided the full notice required under its terms of reference and so that any decisions taken at the meeting would not be binding until ratified at a later AGM which would take place in 6-8 weeks.


Verbal Report on the activities of the PPG

HW outlined the activities of the PPG over the last 12 months:

  • May 21 Keith Spurr, the previous chair stood down and HW was asked to stand in as chair until the AGM
  • The June CQC report on Lakeside was not acceptable and of concern to the PPG
  • Initial efforts of the PPG were to rebuild a working relationship with Lakeside Stamford – we believe it has improved
  • Sep 3 – Survey sent out, with 180 responses. The survey also included an email where patients could contact the PPG with their concerns. The number one issue reported by patients was (and continues to be) their difficulty in contacting the practice. This is still an issue for those using the phones.
  • Nov – the first quarterly patient newsletter was issued on the practice website.
  • Mar 7 – Fortnightly drop in sessions alternating between Sheepmarket and St Mary’s surgeries started. These give an opportunity to talk to the PPG and also to get feedback from the surgery for patients.

HW then invited the meeting to ask any questions relating to the PPG. A lively session ensued, which included the following concerns raised by patients:

  • Access: Many points related to the need to call at 8am and the long wait times in excess of 1 hour before getting through
  • Concern that there are not enough staff at Lakeside Stamford to meet the demand, but the care from doctors was good when you eventually get through.
  • Failure to call patients back / missed calls as no idea when the surgery might call.
  •  The PPG should do more to contact patients – website, social media, Stamford Mercury is not enough. The idea of having meetings in public areas like a café was suggested and is already being considered by the PPG.
  • The PPG should have given more notice for the AGM. Although the first notice on Facebook was on March 15, much of the rest came far too late for proper notice.
  • The patient should be ‘king’. The surgery seems to put its needs ahead of the patients

HW accepted many of these points as they have been raised before but confirmed that the PPG is continuing to improve communications with patients and to push the surgery on the importance of improving access. The PPG is also planning sessions explaining the use of DOCTRIN.


Verbal report on the activities of Stamford Lakeside

Dr Gavin Cattigan led the report on activities at Lakeside Stamford and provided a brief history of his experience at the surgery since joining as a doctor in 2017 and becoming a partner in 2019. The main points covered were:

  • There are 15 doctors (of whom 8 are partners), 11 nurses and 6 Healthcare professionals.
  • A new salaried doctor started in Feb and a new advanced nurse practitioner starts in May and we are continuing to recruit.
  • Despite the government pledging to provide 5,000 extra doctors (increased later to 6,000), the reality is there are 1,800 fewer doctors than in 2015. GPs are in crisis across the country.
  • The CQC report was ‘not at all good’ and they are working hard to improve things – this is still not finished.
  • Doctors are providing 60-70 patient contacts a day and worry that this is not sustainable and could be a safety issue if it persists.
  • There is a new (younger) management team in place now and some good people have been recruited. The team is open to questions and believe the best way forwards is to have honest conversations with patients.

The three doctors present (Cattigan, Eames and Petrie) then took questions from the floor and provided responses to all of them. The main points raised were:

  • What actually happens in the surgery behind the scenes?
    • A: A number of articles on the ‘day in the life’ of a few key members of staff is already being discussed with the Mercury
  • Can the reception staff fill in DOCTRIN for those who cannot use it?
    • A: It is being looked at, but people who can use it will make it easier for those who cannot to access using the phone.
  • Is it just youngsters that use online access?
    • A: the age range is 16-88, with the average around 50.
  • Is the Lakeside brand making it difficult to recruit? Things were fine before Lakeside took over.
    • A: in 2015, there was a headwind of change that the Stamford surgeries did a good job of protecting the patients of Stamford from. Many surgeries were struggling at that time, and this coincided with the arrival of Lakeside. Stamford then started to lose a few doctors who were of retirement age. 1 was manageable, but when 2 or 3 go the surgery started to struggle. We have a new team now and believe we are through the worst, although demand is still high.
  • Why can’t we see our ‘own’ doctor and have to go through the triage mess?
    • A: This is NHS policy and is something we all have to get used to.
    • As a patient, the processes you use seem to be inefficient. Sometimes you create 4 or 5 contacts when it would be more efficient to do it in one. Often the appointments are wasted as you miss the call back.
  • Can we have an update on the Pharmacy service?
    • A: We have 3 pharmacists (shared with Bourne) and 2 pharmacy technicians, plus one Pinnace pharmacists to do medical reviews.
  • Is it acceptable to have over 30,000 patients at one surgery?
    • A: Whilst single practice GPs were the norm, the national drive from government is now to aggregate. Please talk to your national representative if you are unhappy with this.
  • We have no control over the process of call back. Why can’t we agree a time with you?
    • A: the process of triage means that we may need to move things around to deal with more serious and urgent cases. We do try and accommodate requests if they are requested of reception.

Dr Cattigan ended by saying that if they had the option he would love to spend more time with patients, but the reality is we have to prioritise and so we need to meet in the middle.


Election of Officers

  • Chair: No nominations received. HW agreed to continue acting as chair until a volunteer comes forward.
  • Vice Chair: Bill Proudlock was elected unopposed Secretary: No nominations received.

Election of new members of the committee

Glenys Johnstone OBE, Morag Roberts, Alison Warrick and Julie Clarke all received support from the meeting. They were advised that they were now co-opted as members of the committee pending ratification of their election at the future AGM.


Ratification of remaining committee members

The meeting agreed that all existing members of the PPG committee could remain in post, subject to being ratified by the future AGM.


Approval of the new Terms of Reference (ToR)

SM explained that the ToR had been rewritten to remove references to the charity which was no longer part of the PPG, align it to activities the PPG was carrying out and to make it simpler and easier to understand. In view of questions raised and the inadequate notice, this item was withdrawn and will be represented at the future AGM

The meeting closed at 9pm after HW gave thanks to the Lakeside team and their staff.