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Eltham Medical Practice

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Patient Participation Group Report Year 2014/2015

Description of the practice population

Eltham Medical Practice has a list size which currently stands at 12,884 patients.

Information taken from the Primary Care Web Tool shows that;

53% are female (Greenwich Borough average is 51%) 47% male (average for Greenwich is 49%)

Some selected demographics show that;

41% are between 15-44 years of age (Greenwich average 47%)

25% are between 45-64 (Greenwich average 23%)

8%  are between 65-74 (Greenwich average 6%)

The statistics also show that 19% of the list is from a BME population compared with a Greenwich Borough average of 37%.


The Patient Participation Group


A group was first recruited in 2011. In the ensuing years some members left and others joined but overall the members were experiencing difficulty in attending meetings for various reasons. In the recruitment process there was an option to have a ‘virtual’ group but generally this was not something that was of interest. So in order to try and establish a more robust group another recruitment drive took place during the latter part of 2013. Notices were put up in waiting rooms, on the doors to the clinical rooms and on the website. Clinicians and receptionists encouraged patients to join by handing out leaflets before and during routine surgery and also during dedicated clinics such as a diabetic clinic and COPD clinic. Leaflets were also taken to a selection of housebound patients. During the first round of e-mail communication with the group it became clear that the only option to try and ensure that as many of the group as possible could participate in meetings was to hold the meetings in the evening.

Profile of the group


The group now currently stands at 16 however recruitment is still ‘open’. It is made up of 62% female and 38% male.

  • 24 % of the group is 15-44, 53% is  45-64, 23% is  65-74
  • 76% is white British and 24% is Asian or Asian British
  • 84% are owner occupiers and 16% live in rented accommodation
  • 69% are employed 8% unemployed 15% retired and 8% unable to work
  • 38% responded in the recruitment leaflet as having a long term illness, disability or infirmity.

The group meets on a regular basis from 6.30-8PM on a Wednesday evening. The group’s Terms of Reference include the overall aim of the group which is to” facilitate and improve communication between patients and the practice”

It was agreed that the chair of the group would continue to forward via e-mail agendas, minutes and any other associated information to all 16 of the group in order that those who have signed up but not been able to attend meetings will still be able to contribute.


Practice Survey

Part of the agenda for each meeting is to review complaints and also determine how action plans from previous reports are being addressed. In 14/15 meetings have been held on 26th March, 7th July, 8th October 2014 and 7th January 2015.Action plans from 2012 and 2013 were reviewed and the consensus was that there were still some common ‘themes’ which had not been fully addressed to the group’s satisfaction. So these items would ‘roll over’ again and be considered in the formation of this year’s survey. The group was also able to view the first results from the Friends and Family test. Previous surveys showed that the majority of patients were happy with the care and service that they received with but an overall figure of 80% was less than satisfied with the ease of access of contacting the surgery via telephone – particularly to make an appointment. The PPG suggested that the survey should be much shorter this year and focus on ease of contacting the practice. A previous action plan was to try and resolve access issues by offering on-line appointments. This was achieved by offering appointments via the practice website. However on-line access is now part of the practice contract so we wanted to see if we had done enough last year to ‘promote’ and increase its usage and therefore another question regarding use of on-line booking was to be included. The other main priorities that the group wished to focus on were satisfaction with opening hours and reception.


The priorities were agreed at a PPG meeting on 7th January 2015. Also at this meeting the practice presented how it intended to distribute the survey –which was exactly the same as in previous years. Firstly the reception staff would ask patients to take a survey form to complete while they were waiting to see a GP. The surveys would then be ‘posted’ into boxes left in waiting rooms and at receptions. The doctors would also be asked to hand surveys to patients at the end of the consultations and also at the end of ‘dedicated’ clinics such as diabetic. Notices would also be put in waiting rooms encouraging patients to ask for forms or to complete the survey on-line via the practice website. Finally some surveys would be taken out on house visits. The PPG agreed that these would be the most effective methods of distribution in order to reach as large a cross section as possible.  The practice proposed that collation of the survey results be the same as last year in that all paper surveys would be uploaded onto the survey area of the practice website and that the software contained within would be able to generate the response analysis. The group determined that 400 approx. surveys-again as per last year should be available.


The survey was then put together by the practice and was approved by the PPG on 5th February 2015.


The survey was conducted from 9th – 25th February in practice but was left ‘active’ on the website as agreed.


Survey Results

At a meeting held on 19th March 2015 the PPG was presented with the survey results.

In summary these were:

  • 55.85% of those who responded found it fairly easy to contact the practice by ‘phone
  • 27.13% of those who responded said it was not very easy to contact the practice by ‘phone
  • 60.21% of those who responded were very satisfied with opening hours
  • 19.37% were fairly satisfied with the opening hours

The full survey results can be downloaded here.


Action Plan

The PPG felt that the results of the survey overall were good. However part of the action plan from 2013/2014 was to increase the use of on-line booking and the group therefore felt that the figures for use of the website to book appointments -24.21% was a little disappointing. It was agreed that this would again form an action for 15/16. The PPG chair would table this as a priority item for the agenda for the next PPG meeting on 8th April 2015. The group would bring ideas to the meeting as to how else the practice could improve the use of on-line appointments. Once a strategy is decided on then this will be published on the website and in reception.

The use of on-line booking was of particular importance given the disappointing results with regard to contacting the surgery by ‘phone. The group was aware that there had been issues surrounding telephony as this has featured as a theme when the group had reviwed practice complaints. At a meeting in January  2015 the group decided that if the practice were to consider changing their provider then it should look to have a ‘queueing’ system. This is now being progressed by the practice manager and the business manager. It is difficult to be specific regarding when this will be finalised but the aim is to have a new telephone system up and running by the end of April 2015.

So in summary the action points agreed on 19th March were to have a focussed meeting regarding improving website usage and to engage a new service provider for the practice telephony. This new provider should be able to offer a queueing system but the PPG was clear that it should not be a system where patients were told to press different numbers for different departments. The practice is now actively engaged in changing its service provider and will report to the group how and when this change happens at the next meeting In April. It was also agreed that a mini survey purely to focus on access to the surgery by phone might be carried out later in the year. This again will be decided by the PPG once a new system had been in operation for a while.

Other information


The surgery opening hours are as follows;

CourtYard and Well Hall surgeries: 8am – 6.30pm Monday to Friday.

We also offer appointments with a GP at these additional times;

Court Yard :7am to 8 am on Thursday

Well Hall : 6.30- 8.15pm Mon and Tuesday and 8.30 – 10.30am on Saturday.

It is possible to contact the practice to book an appointment Monday to Friday between 8am and 6pm. Please call 020 8850 2725 or 020 8850 1615.

For general enquiries our lines are open Monday to Friday between 8.30am and 6.30pm.Please call 020 8850 5141 or 020 8850 9286

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