The South Lawn Medical Practice

The South Lawn Medical Practice

The South Lawn Medical Practice

Heavitree Health Centre, South Lawn Terrace

Exeter, EX1 2RX

Patient Participation Report

Step 1 – Developing a Patient Reference Group

A small group comprising one GP, the Practice Manager and the Deputy Practice Manager, met on 20 July 2011 to discuss the process of forming a Patient Participation Group, and to consider theTerms of Reference.

Key decisions:

To aim for a groupthat reflects and gains the views of a cross section of its registered patients. It was envisaged that there would be a group who would meet face to face, but that others could also be involved as a virtual group.

Practice Profile

Age / Male / Female / Total
0-16 / 781 / 723 / 1504
17-24 / 351 / 387 / 738
25-44 / 1038 / 1097 / 2135
45-64 / 1013 / 1041 / 2054
65-74 / 264 / 318 / 582
75+ / 508 / 689 / 1197
Total / 3691 / 3937 / 7628

Ethnicity Profile (for those for whom ethnicity is recorded)

Ethnicity / No. of Patients / %
White British / 3771 / 93.25
Other White Ethnic Group / 133 / 3.29
Other Ethnic, mixed origin / 33 / 0.82
Indian / 20 / 0.49
Black African / 18 / 0.44
Chinese / 16 / 0.40
Other Ethnic Group / 15 / 0.37
Black Caribbean / 10 / 0.25
Bangladeshi / 9 / 0.22
Pakistani / 2 / 0.05
Ethnic group not given or declined / 15 / 0.37
Total / 4044 / 100%


Posters and leaflets were prepared to invite participation in various ways:

  • By volunteering to join a Patient Participation Group (PPG)
  • By helping decide which are the key priorities in the Practice
  • By completing a patient survey

Despite widespread distribution of the leaflets only a small number of patients volunteered to join the group. There was a mix of male and female, but all were in the 60 plus age band. We therefore decided to target specific patients who were in different age bands/social circumstances. Letters and leaflets were sent to teenagers, parents of young children, and whole families who were registered at the Practice. More leaflets were printed for patients attending the practice and all ladies attending the antenatal clinics were personally given leaflets and encouraged to respond. Despite this work only two more volunteers came forward, but they did lower the average age. All members are in the White British ethnic group. We had not discriminated against patients from other ethnic groups, as they had the same opportunity to join the PPG as other patients, and wefelt we should not positively discriminate in favour of them either, given the small numbers on our patient list.

We are very grateful to those who volunteered to make up our group comprising:

Age / Male / Female / Total
45-64 yrs / 1 / 1 / 2
65-74 yrs / 2 / 3 / 5
Total / 7

Step 2 – Agree Areas of Priority with the Patient Participation Group

The Group members were invited to meet with the Practice representatives. A variety of dates and times were offered and the most popular was a mid-week, morning meeting. This first meeting was held on 19 October 2011. Four members of the Group attended.

The group were shown the results of the GP Patient Survey which had been conducted from January to March 2011; and a summary of the 18 responses from our patients concerning areas of priority for a patient survey. These options had been selected from the Patient Participation Directed Enhanced Service specification, ie. ‘Clinical Care’; ‘Getting An Appointment’; ‘Receptionist Issues’; ‘Opening Times’; ‘Other, please specify….’.

The preference was for Clinical Care (56%), with the next most popular choice being Getting An Appointment (33%).

There was unanimous agreement to explore ‘Clinical Care’ further.

Step 3 – Collate Views of Patients using a Survey

A questionnaire was drafted based on discussions at the meeting. It was circulated to group members for feedback and some amendments were made. The final version included questions on:

  • Patient satisfaction with clinical care at the Practice
  • Patient preference for clinician/healthcare setting for problems that (i) need to be seen within 48 hours,(ii) urgent medical problems and (iii) on-going medical problems
  • What patients find helpful in understanding their diagnosis
  • Issues around referral for further investigation
  • Patients knowledge of services provided at the Practice
  • Suggestions about services that patients would like provided at the Practice.

The questionnaire also invited respondents to indicate their willingness to participate in future patient surveys.

The questionnaires were distributed to patients attending the practice at the end of October 2011 and early November 2011 until over 200 questionnaires were completed.

Step 4 – Discussion of results with the Patient Participation Group

The results were analysed and a summary was sent to the members of the Group. This took the form of a spreadsheet with detailed information and a summary in newsletter format highlighting the key points.

A further meeting was held on 1st February 2012 to discuss the results and identify a significant list of actions for the Practice to prioritise at a partnership meeting. Those who were unable to attend the Group meeting were invited to send their comments/suggestions by post or e-mail, and these contributed to the discussion.

Step 5 – Agreement of Action Plan

The minutes of the meeting held on 1st February were sent to the Group members with a covering letter outlining the prioritised action list. Comment on this was sought and there was no disagreement with the final action list.

Step 6 – Publication of Actions

The actions agreed were:

  • Improving information displayed in the waiting room.
  • Updating the information on the website on a regular basis to include publishing the monthly newsletter.
  • Improving the content of the newsletter to ensure it is relevant and useful, initially tackling the issues identified from the survey, eg information about accessing out of hours services and health advice websites.
  • Inviting patients to sign up to receive an e-mail to let them know when the latest newsletter is available on the website.
  • Develop a Frequently Asked Questions section to be available on the website and available at the Practice.

This report, and the summary of the results, are available on the Practice website, There are notices in the waiting room, and at reception, inviting patients to request a copy of them. A summary of the results is available in newsletter format and can be picked up from the waiting room.

The Practice is delighted that the results show 67% of our patients are very satisfied with their care at the Practice. A further 32% are satisfied with their care at the Practice.

As a result of the initial request for volunteers, and the subsequent questionnaire, we now have 78 patients who are willing to participate in future patient surveys.

We would like to thank everyone who has participated in some way to the 2011-12 Patient Participation process, and trust you will appreciate the changes we are making as a result.


We remind our patients that our opening hours are:

Day / Monday / Tuesday / Wednesday / Thursday / Friday
Opening Times / 8.30am – 6.00pm / 8.30am – 6.00pm / 8.30am – 6.00pm / 8.30am – 6.00pm / 8.30am- 12.30pm
1.45pm – 6.00pm

Telephone numbers:

Appointments and

Home Visit Requests 01392 281100

General Enquiries01392281101

Test Results01392 281108, 10.00am – 12 noon,


Repeat Prescription Requests01392 28118, 2.00pm – 3.00pm