Minutes of the Meeting of Swanton Morley Surgery Patient Participation Group

on Tuesday 20th November, 2012, 7.00pm at the Community Centre, Woodgate Park.

Present:Hilary ClarkGerry Palmer (Church Warden)

Dr. Simon Carroll (Practice)Barbara Payne

Gina EamesTed Peachment (Chairman)

Cllr. Alan Fleming (Parish Councillor)Maggie Richards (Vice-Chairman)

Pat HicklingCllr. Robert Richmond (Breckland Councillor) Rosemary Northall (Secretary) Judith Wood (Practice Manager)

Ted Peachment welcomed everyone and extended a special warm welcome to representatives of the PPG from the Theatre Royal Surgery in Dereham. These were the Vice-Chairman, Ian Cockayne, together with Keith Barrett, Hilary Bushell, Pam Hasler and Patricia Sutton.

1. Apologies for absenceTed Shelton, Chairman of Theatre Royal Surgery PPG, due to illness.

Gerry Palmer, unavoidably late arrival, due to an earlier meeting.

2. Minutes of the meeting held on 18th September, 2012, to be confirmed and signed.

It was proposed by Robert and seconded by Hilary that the minutes should be confirmed as a true record. Carried unanimously by those present at the last meeting and signed by the Chairman.

3. Matters arising from the minutes

The Coffee Morning planned to be held at Robertson Barracks on 29thSeptember had been cancelled, following the recent death of a soldier in Afghanistan.

Dr. Jenny Grice had recently given birth to a son.

4. Update on Swanton Morley Surgery Matters

Judith reported that Dr. Kaushal, one of the salaried Doctors, has resigned from the Practice to enable him to focus more on his business interests. Drs. Brun and Grice are still on maternity leave.Dr. Brun will probablyreturn in February and may do some “Keeping in Touch Days” to maintain positive links with the practice. Dr. Grice is due to return next autumn. Meanwhile,several locums are now employed to provide cover but they do not undertake home visits.This has implications for the remaining three partners and, for the foreseeable futureDr. Hibberd is no longer able to provide the early morning commuter clinics at Swanton Morley on Mondays and Tuesdays.

It had been planned to upgrade the present clinical computer system shortly but this has had to be deferred. Once the new system is installed there will be significant improvements, including the facility for a check-in system for patients attending Swanton Morley Surgery. The website is updated regularly and Face Book is provided to attract younger people.

It was confirmed that the Doctors and other clinicians feel it is very important to come into the waiting room to greet their patients and escort them along to the consulting room, a tradition begun by this Practice many years ago and fiercely upheld. Everyone appreciated this personal, friendly approach and members were critical of the methods used in many other local surgeries.

5. Input from PPG members, including patients’ comments

The issue of queues at reception was raised. The bell had gone missing, making it difficult to attract attention if no one is at the desk, and a queue can quickly build up. However, there had been no complaints lately and Judith has specified that there must always be at least one person manning the reception area. There can be a problem of congestion caused by wheelchairs and push chairs and patients are asked to park them sensibly.

Background music. PPG members have mainly favoured Classic FM but this has been deemed to be too gloomy lately and Radio 2 is more popular with the staff. It was felt to be far too loud, at times, and a lower volume was requested.

Bespoke tablets. A member reported that two patients had been concerned that the generic medication now prescribed for them was either less effective than the original, or had unfortunate side-effects. It was confirmed that he had been correct in advising them to discuss the whole matter with their Doctor, who might decide to modify the medication or perhaps issue them with a prescription to be taken to another pharmacy elsewhere, which stocked the specific tablets they felt they required.

Brand changes. Another member asked why the brands of medication change from time to time. It was explained that prescription buying efficiency is delegated to the dispensing team who have to deliver a cost effective product. Actual brands are not usually swapped, although the brands of some generic medicines can sometimes be changed. The issue of the excessive information enclosed with most medication was also raised and the list and nature of possible side-effects, while a valid warning, could be very disconcerting.

Flu vaccination clinics. Vaccinations are almost complete after two and a half thousand patients have been treated. There was a hold up originally and the programme had to be put back for a month but apart from a few stragglers, everyone eligible has now received a jab. There are two clinics arranged to scoop up any remaining stragglers. There is alwaysa debrief following a programme of vaccination and it was felt it had gone well on the whole. The vaccine itself is always specifically constituted according to the prevalent type of flu expected in a particular winter and again includes a swine flu element. Sometimes, the whooping cough vaccine is given at the same time to pregnant women.

It was asked why patients had their pulse taken during these recent flu vaccination sessions. It was a convenient quick way of checking for the problem of atrial fibrillation and this simple screening could be very valuable in highlighting a potentially serious problem.

6. Any other business

Judith reported that she had been at the Annual Care Conference, chaired by Harold Bodner and attended by Norman Lamb M.P. Minister of State for Care Services.This mid-Norfolk area had been complimented on its projects for marvellous, integrated care, with teams working together closely and very effectively.

Gina announced she is soon to move to Quebec Hall, Dereham and is anxious to remain as a patient at this Surgery. It was explained that the Practice must adhere to its official boundary lines, mainly for practical purposes regarding the feasibility of making home visits. Her precise situation will be carefully assessed by the lead secretary, Vanessa Whitwood, and Gina will be informed of the decision.

Rosemary regretted the fact that Amy Gray had left the Practice. Judith will put her in touch with Vanessa, who will post confirmed minutes on the website.

7. Observations from members of Theatre Royal Surgery PPG

Ian Cockayne, Vice-Chairman, explained that The Theatre Royal Surgery PPG is relatively new, having being going for about a year. It had been initiated largely as a result of the onset of the Health and Social Care Bill and the need to become appraised of all the implications of these reforms. Their monthly meetings have been chaired by TedShelton. Ian was provided with a summary of our “Aims and Aspirations”, which is kept simple and straightforward, and minutes from the last two meetings. The Swanton Morley group began in 2004, even before this new surgery was built, and we had some input into the choice of various internal features. In a town environment it is difficult to obtain feed-back and comments from patients, whereas in a village, we tend to know each other and individual members can report patients’ comments and raise issues on their behalf at our meetings. These are advertised in the local village magazine and the minutes are circulated to parish councillors and also posted on the practice website, where there is also a feature on the Practice’s two PPG’s and invitations to patients to become involved. The Practice Manager and the Chairman attend the Annual Parish Meeting every April and give reports on recent developments and our members include the local District Councillor as well as a Parish Councillor, which gives the group added status.Our visitors had already attended a meeting with the North Elmham PPG and had observed that the two groups were quite different, even though they supported the same Practice.

8. To confirm the dates of meetings to be held during 2013

Inorder to try to make it possible for potential new members from Robertson Barracks to attend in futureand, being aware that Tuesday evenings are busy there, it was decided to hold our meetings on the third Wednesdayof the month, in future. It was also agreed to hold our meetings in a different month from those at North Elmham. This, in fact, had always been the case originally, until the visit of George Freeman M.P. in July 2011, which affected the sequence of their meetings.

Accordingly, our meetings during 2013 will be held as follows:

20thFebruary; 17th April; 19th June; 21st August; 16thOctober; 18thDecember (to be confirmed)

There being no further business, Ted thanked everybody again for their attendance and the meeting closed at 8.10pm.


(These Minutes were confirmed at the meeting on 20th February, 2013,

and signed by the Chairman, Ted Peachment.)