Cranfield and Marston Surgery wants to limit the numbers of patients at future feedback meetings

Surgery wants to limit the numbers of patients at future meetings with the PPG

The Cranfield & Marston Surgery Patient Participation Group (PPG) held a meeting on Wednesday (13 November 2019) to discuss changes the surgery would like to make to the running of the group.

Anona Hoyle, senior communications and engagement officer at Bedfordshire Clinical Commissioning Group (BCCG), told the meeting that PPGs can be a “critical friend” to the surgery.

Each practice varies in the way their group is organised. This includes the frequency of meetings, number of members, activities and projects.

At the moment, the Cranfield & Marston Surgery has infrequent, large meetings, which some patients described as unsatisfactory as they felt that nothing was achieved. Anona said that to be effective a PPG should have a small group of members acting as a task group, and a wider group of members in a virtual PPG.

The virtual PPG would give their feedback to the task group, who would assimilate the feedback and present this to the surgery. She said:

“It is very difficult for a practice to have a conversation with a large group.

“A task group, or a steering group, they can meet up with the practice and agree actions on what the priorities are, which here seems to be communication and appointments.

“We [the BCCG] want the practice and the PPG to work together.”

As well as the virtual network, the virtual group could also meet up once a year, without practice staff, to discuss how the service is moving forward.

Patients have to sign up to join PPG

Patients are not members of a PPG by default, they will have to register to be part of the virtual group, or to be part of the task group. At the moment there are only around 110 PPG members.

The current chair of Cranfield & Marston Surgery PPG, Rina Persaud was concerned that the proposed model would mean that the patient voice would be lost. She said:

“Whichever way we move forward we mustn’t lose the patient voice.

“When the group was originally set up there was a really good structure for the patient voice to be heard.”

“My concern is that this voice might be lost along the way.”

Rina will email existing PPG members to ask if any of them want to join a new steering group. This group, along with the surgery, will decide the way forward. This is likely to be creating a PPG committee that would organise and run the big meetings. The key messages from the meetings will be discussed when the committee meets with the surgery. Actions and results from these meetings will be fed back to the main PPG meetings.

She said:

“This is a ‘mixed’ approach in order to maintain openness, whilst making discussions with the surgery more manageable and task focused.”

There is a form to complete if you are interested in becoming a member of the PGG.

Additional GPs

After the main discussion, Lisa Marotta, operations manager at the surgery said that a GP has been recruited to start in December/January. She will be carrying out four sessions a week.

A second GP sourced from an international GP recruitment scheme should be starting in May 2020.

Marston Moretaine GP Surgery