PPG Minutes: 5th October 2021





  • Dr John Neden
  • Dr Catherine Neden
  • Gerald Bassett
  • Amanda Hancox

Update Discussion

  • CQC: The surgery received an inspection from the CQC on Friday 20th August and we are currently awaiting the report
  • Staff Changes: One of our ANP’s, Sophie Dyett, has recently left the practice, although she is still providing us with some clinical support over the next few months. A member of our reception team, Layla, will also be leaving us in October.
  • We are currently hosting two GP Registrars; Dr Olorunfemi who is working with Dr Kent and Dr Ucha, who is working with Dr Woodward
  • One of our reception team Nikki has moved roles and is the newest member of our Focused Care Team. Another reception team member Chloe has embarked on a 2 year Trainee Nursing Associate course and has moved across to our nursing team, as has another colleague Sue who is now working exclusively as a phlebotomist
  • We have two new reception team members Toby and Stephanie who we have welcomed into the practice
  • We have also recently employed two apprentices. Tia has joined our admin team and Ashleigh will be working in reception
  • New Team Configuration: We have moved to a new two team system - the Green Team and the Blue Team which will help to provide continuity of care for our patients. The Green team comprises: Dr Sivakumar, Dr Kent, Dr Fenske, Dr Dawes, Melissa Cooper (ACP) and Dr Olorunfemi (GP Registrar) The Blue Team comprises: Dr Catherine Neden, Dr John Neden, Dr Pick, Dr Woodward, Dr Mash, Dr Philip, Dr Sivasubramanium, Iryna Slobodyan (Physician Associate), Dr Ucha (GP Registrar)
  • Acute Care Team: The Acute Care team includes Dr Macpherson, duty doctor, Nicky Sargeant (ANP), Iryna Slobodyan (Physician Associate), Melissa Cooper (ACP), Bev Greenstreet (ANP)
  • Vaccination Programme: We administered the first Covid vaccination on 17/2/20. Since then the Montefiore Medical Centre (including the Grange Practice) have given 37262 Covid Vaccinations Our Flu programme for 2021 started on Sunday 3rd October when around 1200 vaccinations were given on the day Patients will receive texts regarding booking for their Covid booster jabs
  • Challenges Ahead: We are mindful of continuing challenges which include:
  1. Improving access for patients
  2. Continuing to open up services
  3. Dealing with the backlog created by Covid
  4. Developing our workforce by training and upskilling our staff
  • Phone System: We understand that contacting the surgery via phone can be a challenge for our patients. We are also frustrated that our phone system has not worked as was promised when installed. This is also part of a national problem as Primary Care continues to be placed under immense pressure and we are struggling with the volume of calls. We have also had reception team members move into other roles. We are responding to this problem by:
  1. Looking at a new phone system next year when our current contract expires which will provide a better service for our patients
  2. Initiating changes to reception processes to make the workflow more efficient
  3. Allowing patients to come in to surgery to book appointments face to face - thisis a direct response to a discussion at our last PPG meeting
  4. Providing more ways of communicating electronically with the practice
  • Appointments: During the year Aug 2019 - Aug 2020 the practice offered 75,357 appointments with the primary care team. During the year Aug 2020 - Aug 2021 this number of appointments increased to 95,779. It was noted however that verbal abuse towards colleagues is increasing as patients become increasingly frustrated with the pressure on the system that has been created by the pandemic
  • Challenges
  1. Colleagues are becoming increasingly tired
  2. There is a greater expectation from patients
  3. Depleted workforce - recruitment and retention is challenging
  4. Availability of more digital routes into surgery increases workload
  5. Increased demand due to long Covid and mental health issues
  6. Increased support needed for patients who are waiting for delayed hospital appointments
  • Local Challenges: There are marked differences in access to GPs across England. Thanet is in one of the worst areas with around 2520 patients for every whole time equivalent GP. The best areas have around 1192 patients per GP. Thanet has factors such as deprivation, an ageing population and a shortage of workforce which compounds this problem. However, the number of appointments we are offering is increasing, last year we offered 50,317 GP appointments and 39,915 Nursing appointments, an increase on the previous year.
  • Website Forms: There are forms on our website which patients can use to access services at the surgery
  1. E-consults ( currently around 595 a month)
  2. Contact us form
  3. Change of contact details
  4. Repeat Prescriptions
  5. Fit notes
  6. Online Access
  7. Type 1 opt-out
  8. Blood Pressure readings

We hope that use of these forms will help relieve some of the pressure on the phone lines.

  • Dermatology Clinic: The dermatology clinic is now up and running - patients need to be referred by a GP to access this service. This local service now means that patients do not have to travel to Whitstable for an appointment. We currently have Dr Rob White, a GP with special interest in dermatology running a clinic once a month, and Dr Rajeev, Consultant Dermatologist, attending the practice twice a month


  • Queues: It was noted that with the winter weather approaching there is no protection for patients who are queuing outside whilst waiting to book in for their appointments. We recognise this may be a problem and in response will be returning to having two reception team members on the front desk and are re-opening up the self-checkin screen with enhanced cleaning protocols. We hope this will help to keep queues to a minimum wherever possible.

Our next PPG meeting will be Tuesday 8th February 2022 at 6pm