Patient Participation Group
Our Patient Participation Group (PPG) meets to provide a forum for discussion about the practice.
About the Patient Participation Group
A PPG is a group of patient interested in health and healthcare issues, who want to get involved with and support the running of their practice.
The aim of The Wells Medical Practice PPG is to give patients at our surgery an opportunity to become actively involved with the doctors and staff in planning and developing new services and to take an active interest in their own healthcare.
Meetings are held remotely on a bi-monthly basis.
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Minutes of The Wells Medical Practice (TWMP) PPG Committee Meeting
To request minutes of previous meetings, please contact the practice
11 January @ 12.30 via Teams
- Louise Handford (LH) (Practice Manager)
- Rachel Myers-Lamptey (RML) (General Practitioner)
- Husnara Begum (HB)(Chair)
- David Kirkham (DK); Roderic MacMillan (RM); Lucinda Curtis (LC) and Deana Leadbeter (DL)
Prepared by HB and edited by LH with input from other patient members.
HB welcomed everyone to the meeting and asked each attendee to introduce themselves for the benefit of prospective patient member DL who is a health information specialist and has lived in Tunbridge Wells for many years. DL then shared some suggestions, including the importance of better engagement between patients and the surgery. HB responded, saying that since taking on the role of chair in December 2022 the PPG Committee has taken many steps to help facilitate this, including the satisfaction survey, regular patient newsletters and the recent AGM/Town Hall meeting.
Regarding the AGM, RM enquired whether such a meeting should be held quarterly or every six months. Consensus was reached that quarterly meetings would require too much time and resource. Furthermore, it was unlikely that there would be enough significant developments at the surgery to warrant such regular updates, particularly considering the existing patient newsletter. It was therefore agreed that meetings should be held twice a year and the next one would be scheduled in May or June 2024 as this would also give the surgery an opportunity to share feedback on the roll-out of Anima (see below).
It was also decided that such a meeting would be renamed ‘Open Meeting’ as this sounded more inviting for patients and may therefore attract high attendance rates. It was felt that AGM sounded rather ‘dull’ whilst Town Hall suggests the meeting would be taking place in an actual town hall rather than virtually.
RM then raised concerns about confusion over some of the terminology being used to describe the PPG. It was agreed that going forward it was important to continue differentiating between the ‘PPG’, which is open to ALL patients registered with TWMP and the ‘PPG Committee’, which is a smaller group of individuals comprising representatives from the surgery and patient members (including the chair) who meet every 4-6 weeks to discuss matters affecting the surgery.
LH then spent the rest of the meeting updating the PPG committee on the surgery’s decision to roll-out Anima as a replacement for eConsult, effective 31 January 2024. Anima, an online platform for booking appointments, was first highlighted to the PPG in summer 2023 but was put on hold. LH said this has now been confirmed and TWMP along with other local surgeries plan to move forward with Anima. A formal announcement will be made to patients on 17 January 2024. She added that eConsult will be switched off on Friday 26 January.
LH explained the key features of Anima, including how going forward ALL appointment requests will be assessed using the platform’s traffic light-based triaging system. The hope is that with the surgery allocating all future appointments based on clinical urgency rather than method of contact will over time result in more patients using Anima to contact the surgery, freeing up vital phone lines for the most vulnerable patients.
HB, LC, DK, RM and DL broadly welcomed the move, acknowledging the urgent need to address patient concerns about the challenges some experience accessing appointments. However, it was also acknowledged that currently it is far too early for patient members of the PPG to comment on whether the roll-out of Anima would be successful in addressing the daily 8.30am rush for appointments given they are all still trying to fully understand its capabilities and indeed limits.
In anticipation of Anima being rolled out, LH invited LC, DK, RM and DL to go into the surgery for a demonstration. HB supported this move, saying that she had already done this and now has a much better understanding of the platform, and this has enabled her to support the surgery to offer input on the draft patient letter being proposed to be sent informing them about Anima and related FAQs.
The content of the draft patient letter was discussed. It was agreed that short and simple would be preferable and additional detail, including the FAQs, could be added to the surgery’s website. LC asked whether the letter could be more upbeat? HB said she disagreed arguing anything that read like marketing material is more likely to be ignored by patients. DL agreed saying that given there is so much public distrust in relation to tech it was better to avoid marketing language. HB then highlighted the importance of as many patients as possible choosing Anima in favour of calling the surgery to make the roll-out successful.
LH also asked if any of the patients committee members were available to volunteer at the surgery on 31 January. She explained this was in anticipation of some patients turning up at the surgery to set up an Anima account and / or with other queries relating to the platform. HB confirmed her availability.
Time run out to discuss AOB, however, LC quickly added that she supported a potential dementia event similar to the menopause information morning held by the surgery last summer.
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