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Eltham Medical Practice

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Patient Participation Group Report Year 2013/ 2014


Description of the practice population

Eltham Medical Practice has a list size which currently stands at 12,700 patients.

52% are female (Greenwich Borough average is 50%) 48% male (average for Greenwich is 50%)

Some selected demographics show that;

41% are between 15-44 years of age (Greenwich average 49%)

25% are between 45-64 (Greenwich average 22%)

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

The statistics also show that 6% of the list is from a BME population compared with a Greenwich Borough average of 32%.


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.


A proportion of the current group has now met twice and already established its terms of reference. It was agreed that the overall aim of the group was to facilitate and improve communication between patients and the practice. Minutes of the meetings will be published in on the website in the dedicated PPG section and put up on noticeboards in surgery. 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  may still be able to contribute.



Practice Survey

At meetings held during early 2013 discussions took place regarding previous practice survey results and also those of the national GP survey. These 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. Part of the action plan agreed last year was to try and resolve this by offering on-line appointment access. So one of the priorities of this year’s survey was to include a question on use of the website to make an appointment. Apart from other general questions such as care and concern shown by GP and how happy patients were with the reception team, the other main priority that the group wished to focus on was satisfaction with opening hours. Other avenues for determining priorities for the survey were explored including complaints from patients. However the group considered these complaints to be too specific to be included in a general survey.

The survey was then put together by the practice and was approved by the PPG. The practice then presented how it intended to distribute the survey. 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. It also agreed that given other constraints placed upon practice staff the distribution could be ‘staggered’ over a period of time with the last batch of questionnaires being distributed during early 2014. 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 appreciated that this would be time consuming for practice staff but as the practice had already indicated that it would be unable to release funds to employ any outside company to do this it was felt that this would be adequate. The group determined that 400 approx. surveys should be distributed – again taking into consideration that practice staff would be utilised to do this. As it transpired, the practice was at certain times able to utilise ‘dedicated’ staff to hand the surveys out.


Survey Results


At a meeting held on 26th March 2014 the PPG was presented with the survey results.

In summary these were:

  • 58.82% found it fairly easy to book by telephone with 35.29% saying very easy. 
  • 14.2% of those surveyed now used the website to book appointments 
  • 60 % were fairly satisfied with the practice opening hours, 20 % were very satisfied and 20% were not very satisfied. 
  • 78% felt the surgery should be open at additional times 
  • 18.75% thought the practice should be open after 6.30pm, 43.75% on Saturdays. 6.25% on Sundays and 18% before 8am. 
  • In terms of overall satisfaction with care 64.71% were very satisfied 11.76% fairly satisfied, 11.765 neither satisfied nor dissatisfied, and 11.76% quite dissatisfied. 
  • Finally – 70.59% of those surveyed would recommend the practice to someone who had just moved to the area, 11% would probably recommend 11% said they would definitely not and 5.88% said they weren’t sure. 


The full survey results can be downloaded from the practice website here.


Action Plan

The PPG felt that the results of the survey overall were extremely good and didn’t feel that any areas of ‘underperformance’ needed to be addressed other than the issue of opening times. However it felt that this was something that could not reasonably be the subject of an action plan as there were many other factors involved that would determine any change in opening times. It did feel that the figures for use of the website to book appointments was a little disappointing and asked the practice to more vigorously promote this with clearer and more ‘colourful’ posters to draw attention in reception. As this had been the major issue in the action plan for 2013 the practice agreed that this would start with immediate effect and would report the uptake of on-line appointment booking or otherwise at the next meeting at the beginning of July.

In summary the group felt that as the results had been positive with over 70% of those questioned prepared to recommend the practice to others, there were other issues  that they wished to focus on in line with the overall objective of the group ie.’ to facilitate and improve communication between the practice and the patients’. These issues will be discussed at future meetings and the minutes will be published. The group asked the practice to ensure that it provided ‘vehicles’ for patients to respond to or comment on the minutes.



A reminder to all patients

Our opening times are


Court Yard

Monday to Friday 8am to 6.30pm –Tel: 020 8850 2725(Appointments) 020 8850 5141(Enquiries)


Well Hall

Monday to Friday 8am to 12noon 1pm -6.30pm Tel: 020 8850 1615(Appointments) 020 8850 9286 (Enquiries)




Monday and Tuesday evenings until 7.30pm and Saturday mornings from 8.30am-9.30am.



From 7am on Thursday morning

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