Patient Participation Group

If any GS resident wishes to have an issue raised at the PPG, then please send an email to who is the GS representative.

Lambourn Surgery Patient Participation Group

The Lambourn Surgery Patient Participation Group (PPG) is a group of registered patients who are charged with working together with the practice to help them provide services that meet the needs of the patient population. Their purpose is described as: –

  • being a critical friend to the practice;
  • advising the practice on the patient perspective and providing insight into the responsiveness and quality of services;
  • encouraging patients to take greater responsibility for their own and their family’s health;
  • carrying out research into the views of those who use the practice;
  • organising health promotion events and improving health literacy;
  • regular communication with the patient population.

You will note that many of these objectives concern communication and this is a subject both the surgery management team and the PPG would like to improve. Together we have therefore agreed that the PPG will lead in improving communication with you, the patient population and this article is the first step on this journey.

It is our intention to structure communications with as many of you as possible using various media, including newsletter articles, email, social media and web pages and whatever else that you suggest may widen our audience.

Articles such as this will normally include news about healthcare in our community, key surgery messages and requests for involvement in improvement work being run by the PPG.

Lambourn Surgery Patient Participation Group Newsletter, October 2021

Flu vaccine

Although vaccine supplies have been delayed, Flu Clinics have already been held for Lambourn Surgery patients at the Walwyn Hall and will continue throughout October. All eligible Lambourn Surgery patients will be invited to flu clinics based upon age and vulnerability by the end of October.

Covid Booster

The Covid booster programme has started. Eligible patients will be invited to make an appointment for their Covid Vaccine booster 6 months after their 2nd dose. This is being performed through the NHS appointment system that some will have used for their first two jabs. Patients will be able to choose the time and place of their appointment. Please note however that most practices (including Lambourn) will not be vaccination centres, since they are being asked to concentrate on regular GP services. Options will include community pharmacies and community vaccination centres. You will see the options available when you receive your invitation. You may have heard that The Lambourn Pharmacy is now a registered Covid clinic, but please note that you can only book appointments through the national booking service once invited. Please do not call the Pharmacy directly.


The triage method for making appointments introduced during the pandemic will continue for the time being in order to keep staff and patients safe and ensure that patients with the greatest need are contacted first. Although regularly used by many patients, using this process on the surgery website is problematic for some. To be fair, it is not the most intuitive of systems so here’s a quick step by step guide to requesting help via the website. Remember if you or a friend/family member are unable to access the internet then you can phone the surgery and a skilled receptionist will, confidentially, talk you through the process.

As you go through each section, please ensure that you read each page. The following describes how the web page appears on a PC or laptop. The format may be slightly different on a phone or tablet but will include the same text.

  1. Open Lambourn Surgery Webpage;
  2. Currently, you may get a yellow pop-up window re Covid 19. Please read and close by clicking the x in the top right-hand corner.
  3. Click on the green box “Consulting Room”
  4. Consider if this is a matter that may be resolved by talking to a pharmacist or the 111 service, or if this is a matter that would normally be dealt with by a nurse. If not, then click on the link on the right-hand side of the screen “Get help from the practice”
  5. Consider if the reason for contact may be an emergency (Call 999) if not then click on the blue box at the bottom of the screen “I have none of these”
  6. At last, we’re down to brass tacks! Most of the rest is pretty self-explanatory. Most fields require a response, but this can be as brief or as detailed as you wish, however the clinician can make a better-informed judgement with more detail.
  7. Remember that you can request a response by a phone call if you prefer.
  8. Don’t forget to read and agree to the terms and conditions and to press “submit” at the bottom of the page. You will receive an acknowledgement of your request.
  9. You will receive a response within 3 working hours (Monday to Friday). If you are making a request after 4.30pm please note that your request will not be read until 8am the following working day.

I hope this helps. There is ongoing work considering how the appointment process will work in the future as operations start to return to “normal”.


In order that our surgery can provide care to those most in need please consider consulting with a pharmacist or calling 111 or the online service for straightforward medical advice,

You can contact the PPG via email; or in writing via the surgery office (Bockhampton Road, Lambourn, RG17 8PS) addressed to the Chair of the PPG.

Alan Breadmore, Chair, Lambourn Surgery PPG

Lambourn Surgery Patient Participation Group Newsletter, September 2021

As you will be aware the NHS continues to suffer the aftermath of Covid made worse by chronic staff shortages. Our surgery is working flat out to maintain a level of service that is acceptable, but they will admit that this is proving very hard under the pressures they face. For straightforward medical advice, please consider consulting with a pharmacist or calling 111 or the online service

Blood Bottles

Nationally there is a shortage of blood bottles, and the surgery are following guidance from NHS England regarding this. They are only able to carry out blood tests classed as an emergency or clinically urgent.

Some routine blood tests already booked may be cancelled and the surgery will be in touch with you. If you do not hear from them, please attend your booked appointment.

Flu vaccine

This is another area of current uncertainty as supplies have been delayed, however I can tell you that eligible Lambourn Surgery patients will be invited to flu clinics before the end of September. The dates will be confirmed once the vaccine supplies have been received. As last year these will be held on Saturdays at community facilities. Watch out for more news.

Covid Booster

Lambourn, like all other practices is awaiting government/NHS England advice re how and when a Covid booster programme will be implemented. Once again eligible patients will be advised once detail is available.

You can contact the PPG via email; or in writing via the surgery office (Bockhampton Road, Lambourn, RG17 8PS) addressed to the Chair of the PPG.

Alan Breadmore, Chair, Lambourn Surgery PPG

Lambourn Surgery Patient Participation Group Newsletter, August 2021

National GP Survey

The results of the Annual National GP Survey have recently been published and I’m pleased to report that our Surgery had excellent results. This survey is carried out each year in January by Ipsos MORI on behalf of NHS England. A random sample of 298 patients were polled and 130 surveys returned. According to this survey of Lambourn Surgery patients the Patient Experience was considered best in the following areas

  • 88% of respondents are satisfied with the general practice appointment times available [ compared with 66% average locally (Berkshire West CCG) and a national average of 67%]
  • 84% of respondents were offered a choice of appointment when they last tried to make a general practice appointment. [Local average: 68%; National average 69%]
  • 86% of respondents find it easy to get through to this GP practice by phone. [Local average: 70%; National average: 68%]

According to the results no areas were highlighted where the patient experience could improve since “This practice has scored higher than their CCG average in every question”.

Of course, the Surgery team and PPG are not complacent about these results and recognise that during the last 18 months service levels have been severely impacted. However, this survey does recognise the comparative resilience of the Lambourn surgery performance compared with their peers. If you would like to study the results in more detail, they may be found online at

PPG Survey and Communications

In a similar vein, the surgery recently asked the PPG if they would assist in gauging patient opinion regarding past, present and future preferences, and experiences for making appointments at the surgery. With input from the surgery PPG members performed a survey through personal interview with patients who had made an appointment in the past 12 months (essentially since the process was changed in July 2020).  In addition, questions regarding communication with patients and overall satisfaction were added by the PPG. During June 2021 a total of 122 interviews were performed in the community and in the surgery car park. All interviews were anonymous and confidential. The results have been analysed and submitted to the Surgery management team for further discussion and the outcomes will be shared with patients in due course through this newsletter. Some initial results reinforce the satisfaction levels reflected in the National survey above

All respondents were asked “Overall, how satisfied are you with the service that you receive from Lambourn Surgery?” This was ranked on a scale of 5.

5 Very Satisfied; 4 Satisfied; 3 OK; 2 Dissatisfied; 1 Very Dissatisfied.

The overall average score was 4, with 86% scoring 3 or above.

The key areas of dissatisfaction will be discussed further with the surgery and the PPG aims to represent the body of opinion expressed in this survey.

One of the key outcomes of the survey was how communication with patients may be improved. Notably, how to raise awareness of change (there will always be change) in the NHS and how this impacts Lambourn surgery and more importantly to explain the reasons for change. Patients surveyed indicated their preferred means of obtaining information with 42% choosing websites, 25% choosing Community Magazines (e.g., Village Views or Great Shefford News), less than 10% social media and 57% choosing email. Unfortunately, for a variety of reasons, email is not a means routinely used by either the surgery or the PPG. We are looking at how better email coverage may be achieved.

We will share more of the results and outcomes in the coming months.

GP Staffing

We are pleased to welcome Dr Caroline McKenzie-Hill replacing Dr Hamilton and announce that Dr Zoe Wanless will be taking maternity leave from mid September, maternity cover to be confirmed.

You can contact the PPG via email; or in writing via the surgery office (Bockhampton Road, Lambourn, RG17 8PS) addressed to the Chair of the PPG.

Alan Breadmore, Chair, Lambourn Surgery PPG

Lambourn Surgery Patient Participation Group Newsletter, July 2021

Breast Cancer Screening

The mobile Breast Cancer Screening Unit was at the surgery recently. Unfortunately, it appears that over 25% of those with an invitation did not take up the offer this time. The surgery will write again to each person who is eligible and did not attend, but in the meantime, the importance of attending any cancer screening you are offered cannot be stressed enough.

The unit was last at the surgery in 2018 and then only just over 7% did not take up the offer. After the follow up letter from the surgery, some did then attend for screening and a further 2 cancers which would have gone undetected were diagnosed. The surgery are unsure as to why the uptake has been so low this time, potentially due to uncertainty over COVID safe procedures, but please be assured the Breast Screening team are working to the same infection control protocols as the rest of the NHS.

IT IS NOT TOO LATE: If you received an invitation and did not attend, you can still book by calling 0118 322 8282 and you will be screened at the West Berks Community Hospital.

Breast Cancer when diagnosed early has one of the best success rates in terms of treatment, so it really is worthwhile taking up the offer, and could just save your life.

Use The Right Medical Service

Demand for services at the surgery is still extremely high (about 150% of pre pandemic levels) and this is now compounded by the backlog in secondary care which has meant patients are waiting longer for specialist treatment or operations, which in turn means they are in pain for longer and need more support. Mental health problems are also at an all-time high. It is therefore important that we all try to use the correct service for our medical problem.

Patient Data Opt Out

You may have read in the national press about how NHS digital is gathering anonymised patient data from GPs for use in research. The NHS are giving individual patients the opportunity to opt out of this process. Unfortunately, they seem to have placed the burden of the administrative task of this exercise with the GP practices which they could well do without. It is a matter for individual choice and full information may be found on the surgery website …. Or on request from surgery reception. Requests for opt out must be with the surgery by August …

Where To Get More Information

The PPG are very aware that nearly all information produced by the NHS these days is online and the difficulty of obtaining “offline” information has been exacerbated by the infection control measures at surgeries. We are looking at this and hope to have some news on this matter in the coming months. In the meantime, the online resources are pretty comprehensive and this page on the Lambourn Surgery website can steer you to further information

including further information on Breast cancer Screening and Mental Health Care resources. If you do not have access to online services at least be aware that they exist and ask a friend, family member or PPG member to help out or ask at the surgery.

You can contact the PPG via email; or in writing via the surgery office (Bockhampton Road, Lambourn, RG17 8PS) addressed to the Chair of the PPG.

Alan Breadmore, Chair, Lambourn Surgery PPG

Lambourn Surgery Patient Participation Group Newsletter, June 2021

Vaccination Success

I would like to open this newsletter with a big thank you on behalf of patients to the staff and volunteers who contributed to the amazing Vaccination Centre at Newbury Racecourse. More than 60,000 vaccinations have been administered in just 5 months. Virtually all Lambourn surgery staff have contributed, including some familiar past clinical staff, and more than 25 of our patients have been amongst the lay volunteers who have shown fantastic generosity of spirit and time to make this venture a role model for GP led services. This has led the PPG to start discussions with the Surgery Management Team on how we may use volunteers in the future to support services. Volunteers are routinely used at hospitals and other surgeries to alleviate pressure on clinical staff to allow them to concentrate on the tasks they are uniquely qualified for. It is early days, but I hope to have further news soon.

Surgery Services

As the pressure of Covid starts to ease, inevitably patients are looking for services at the surgery to return to “normal”. The pandemic forced doctors and admin staff to introduce new procedures, e.g., triage via the website and remote consultations, and this has enabled the efficacy of such processes to be tested. Interestingly, whilst some of these changes have been welcomed by patients and some are not suitable or available for others, this period of learning has also shown that some of these changes are also unsustainable for the surgery team. The post pandemic model for practice operations will not happen immediately and the PPG have been asked to contribute to the validation of any changes from a patient perspective. In the meantime, the surgery continues to wait for clear national guidance on things such as resumption of “by-request” face to face consultations and the relaxation of the current infection control measures. Current demand for consultations is running at approximately 150% of pre-pandemic levels. Please continue to bear with the hard-working team and remain courteous, sadly there are daily examples of abusive behaviour towards surgery staff. However, please do continue to request an appointment (via the website, or by telephone if you do not have internet access) if you have any concerns about your health. Your doctor will arrange the most appropriate appointment for you to address your concern.

Clinical Pharmacist

I have spoken previously about the West Berkshire Rural Primary Care Network (PCN) where Lambourn together with Hungerford, Kintbury and Wooton Hill Surgeries are sharing resources to provide a wider range of services. I am therefore pleased to share the appointment of Sai Jammigumpula as the Clinical Pharmacist for the PCN.

Clinical pharmacists are increasingly working as part of general practice teams. They are highly qualified experts in medicines and can help people in a range of ways. This includes carrying out structured medication reviews for patients with ongoing health problems and improving patient safety, outcomes and value through a person-centred approach.

There are currently over 1000 Clinical Pharmacists working in NHS England and it can only benefit our community that we now have one.

Sai is able to consult re some minor illness, skin complaints, asthma and hypertension (high blood pressure). He is also a prescriber, so can prescribe for these conditions. He will also undertake long term condition reviews for asthma and hypertension. His role also includes carrying out medication reviews, reauthorising medication on repeat prescription, and completing audits on medication safety. This eases workload on other clinical staff.

You can contact the PPG via email; or in writing via the surgery office (Bockhampton Road, Lambourn, RG17 8PS) addressed to the Chair of the PPG.

Alan Breadmore, Chair, Lambourn Surgery PPG

Message from Lambourn Surgery 17th May 2021:

“You may have seen on the news that from Monday the 17th of May doors at GP Practices are re-opening. At Lambourn Surgery we have been open throughout the pandemic, offering patients telephone and face to face appointments as appropriate. During April alone we saw 1071 patients face to face and 704 patients had telephone consultations.  This does not include the 910 first and 2nd dose COVID jabs we have provided at the racecourse during April alone. All requests for appointments have been triaged in line with National requirements, to keep patients and staff safe while the COVID infection rates were high and before the vaccination programme was widespread.

We are now being encouraged to offer patients a choice of remote or face to face consultation. Before we have more people coming into the surgery to see us in person, we need a bit more time to put in place measures to keep everyone safe.

As we wait for further National guidance on doing that, we ask that patients continue to contact us online or by phone as you have been doing, but please explore safe help options first such as  NHS 111 online  if you are able. We are facing unprecedented demand for our services and will need to continue to adjust how we use our clinicians time to best support our patients-particularly those who need us the most.

Hopefully this information will reassure you that Lambourn Surgery has been well and truly open during the pandemic and we continue to operate under an extremely pressured environment.

We will keep you updated as soon as we are clear about how we can re-open our reception areas safely. Thank you for your support”


Alan Breadmore

Chair, Lambourn Surgery Patient Participant Group

Lambourn Surgery Patient Participation GroupFebruary 2021

COVID Vaccinations

Inevitably, most of the news is about COVID and it has been heart-warming to receive so many offers from volunteers to support our community. Patients of Lambourn Surgery have been volunteering as stewards at the racecourse, working at the surgery phoning patients with appointments or stuffing envelopes with confirmation letters as well as a providing transport for those unable to make their own way to the racecourse. Our thanks to you all.

The racecourse vaccination centre is now fully up and running and administering vaccine as fast as deliveries of vaccine allow. The first week of February saw the 10,000th vaccination delivered just 3 weeks after operations started and the second week of February sees vaccine deliveries arriving on six consecutive days. It is expected that the government target of everyone in the top 4, at risk, groups being offered a vaccine by 15th February will be met. If you have not yet been contacted don’t worry the surgery will keep trying.

You may have heard of scammers taking advantage of vulnerable people and taking their money for bogus vaccines. Sadly, our operation at the racecourse is being targeted by crooks in the local area who are telling people to turn up at the Newbury Vaccination Centre in exchange for cash. This is a scam.  There are no Covid vaccines available on the private market. The NHS will never ask for payment details to secure your appointment. All appointments for the Vaccination Centre are booked directly with the surgery. Anyone without an appointment is turned away.

You will be contacted by the surgery when it is your turn, please do not call them, they are working strictly according to the government guidelines and in decreasing order of age. Up until now all patients have been contacted by phone in order to make an appointment. From the 2nd week of February, a new text-based system is being trialled to make the booking process quicker and easier for all. Once it is your turn and there is a vaccination slot available you will receive a text message from a company called Accubook. By clicking on the link within this message you will be able to book your COVID vaccination appointment at Newbury Racecourse. This text message is genuine and not a scam, at no point will you be asked for any money. If the surgery does not have a mobile telephone number for you then you will be contacted via your landline.

Some patients may receive a national invitation by letter to alternative sites in Oxford, Marlow, Basingstoke or elsewhere. If you prefer to attend there, it is entirely your choice. Just bear in mind, that is where your second dose will be also. The surgery has no control over these letters, so they may seem confusing, they are not informed to whom and when they will be sent.

Please remember that the Surgery is still operating and if you feel that you need to talk to a doctor/nurse for other matters please contact them. A huge thank you to all the staff at our surgery who as well as running the vaccine programme are open for business as usual.

You can contact the PPG via email; or in writing via the surgery office (Bockhampton Road, Lambourn, RG17 8PS) addressed to the Chair of the PPG.

Alan Breadmore, Chair, Lambourn Surgery PPG

December 2020 report:

 New COVID Vaccine

Everyone is excited that there is progress on a Covid vaccine and that this should improve the quality of life for us all. Like all GP practices, our surgery is committed to caring for you in the best possible way whilst keeping both you and the practice team safe. Similarly, they are working hard to ensure that they are prepared to act and inform you as soon as more information becomes from NHS England.

  • Three Covid vaccines have been announced and the Pfizer vaccine has just been authorised for use in the UK, the other two have not yet been licensed– but this is expected soon.
  • NHS England have said that there will be some large Vaccination Centres and some mobile units to deliver and administer the vaccines. It is not yet known what there will be in our area.
  • Implementation issues are being addressed by NHS England. Once they have finalised arrangements, they will let us know locally.
  • The expectation is that the vaccinations will not start for most people until 2021 and it will take some time to vaccinate everyone who is eligible.

Meanwhile, we should to follow advice of hand-washing, face masks and social distancing.

 COVID Symptoms

The surgery is noticing a trend in the number of patients reluctant to get a COVID test when they have symptoms. There seems to be an impression that it “is not really in this area” or “I know it’s not COVID”

Getting a test now is much easier than it was. You can book a test easily online or via 119.

Please do not ignore COVID symptoms.

  • A fever
  • A new continuous cough
  • A loss of taste or smell

If you experience any of the above (It does not have to be all and it can be more), you MUST book a test.

If you test positive, you can still contact the surgery for help in dealing with your symptoms and for monitoring. In the first instance contact the surgery online or by telephone if you are unable to do so online. Please do not just turn up in person at the surgery. The doctor will still examine you if necessary and will do this in a segregated room or they can see you in your car dependent on the nature of the examination needed. The doctor will be wearing full PPE.

Home monitoring of patients over the age of 65 for Oxygen saturation can be arranged. An easy to use piece of equipment can be loaned which will involve sending results to the surgery three times a day. This is one of the most effective ways of checking how your body is coping with the virus.

Virtual Patient Group

The PPG has recently been reviewing its role and is aiming to become a nimbler, more active group. To this end, we are incorporating the role of the Virtual Patient Group (VPG), which has been dormant for a while, and would like to enlarge it and make it more representative of the demography of patients. VPG members will receive most of the communications from the PPG via email and they will be encouraged to be active in helping communicate messages and providing feedback to the PPG/Surgery. Essentially VPG membership will be little different from the PPG except for attending meetings and voting on matters of policy.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the VPG then please contact the PPG as below.

Christmas Opening

The Surgery will be open as usual on Christmas Eve and will be shut on December 25th, 26th, 27th and 28th. During this period patients should us the 111 service. Please do not use the online service unless you can wait until Tuesday 29th December for a response.

You can contact the PPG via email; or in writing via the surgery office (Bockhampton Road, Lambourn, RG17 8PS) addressed to the Chair of the PPG.

November 2020 report:

Flu Clinics.

A big thank you to the admin staff, clinical staff and volunteers who made the Flu Clinics held on Saturdays in October a resounding success with those patients who attended. A staggering 93% of over 65s in our population received the vaccine (typically 65% in the past). A further 56% of eligible under 65s with a pre-existing medical condition were also vaccinated. Those patients who fall into the above categories who were unable to attend a clinic, will be invited for an appointment shortly. Stocks of vaccine are available. You can check your eligibility through this website

If you are aged 50-64 and are not in a risk group you will be contacted later in November regarding vaccination. These clinics are not likely to be until early December when the Department of Health stock of vaccine has been released.

This model has been a valuable exercise in the organisation of mass vaccination which will hopefully be useful in the not too distant future.

 Networking for Enhanced Services

A recent development for the NHS is the formation of Primary Care Networks (PCN); these are groups of general practices working together with other local providers to offer more personalised, coordinated health and social care to their local populations. They are designed to be small enough to maintain the traditional strengths of general practice but at the same time large enough to provide resilience and support the development of integrated teams. Lambourn is now a member of the West Berkshire Rural PCN together with Hungerford, Kintbury and Wooton Hill Surgeries. Although it is early days, we are now beginning to see the benefits of sharing resources. Last month we highlighted the reintroduction of extended appointment hours together with our PCN partners and we can now announce the appointment of Becky Neeves as a Social Prescriber working across our partner network.

What is Social Prescribing?

Social Prescribing is a way of working with people to address their non-medical needs and help them to take control of their health and well-being. It recognises that a wide range of non-medical issues can affect people’s health.

Would you like to?

  • Improve your general health and wellbeing
  • Reduce feelings of isolation
  • Discover local self-help groups, clubs and befriending agencies
  • Volunteer your own time and experiences, and get involved in your local community
  • Explore support for housing, employment, benefits, debt & legal advice

During COVID, Becky has spent much of her time working with shielding patients making sure they had everything they needed and knew how to access all the available support. If you think that social prescribing may help you then talk to your GP or health professional and if appropriate they will put you in touch with Becky who is there to listen to you, and put you in touch with the people and activities that might help you feel better.

Still Open for Business

Just for reassurance, the surgery will be open as normal during “Lockdown 2”, albeit operating under the COVID restrictions, as has been the case since the first lockdown in March. Please do continue to request an appointment (via the website, or by telephone if you do not have internet access) if you have any concerns about your health. Your doctor will arrange the most appropriate appointment for you to address your concern. This could be by telephone, online, video consultation or face to face.

You can contact the PPG via email; or in writing via the surgery office (Bockhampton Road, Lambourn, RG17 8PS) addressed to the Chair of the PPG.

October 2020 report:

Open for Business. We talked last month about the changes made to procedures in order to provide a safe and effective environment for patients and practice staff. Change is rarely welcome and there have been some negative press reports recently regarding the ability to see your GP face to face during this pandemic.

Reassuringly, Lambourn Surgery has never closed its doors to patients in opening hours, either before, during or since lockdown. They have continued to see patients throughout, including face to face when clinically appropriate.

Face to face contact is limited where possible to help control the spread of Coronavirus. Face to face appointments are available to all patients, but you may be asked to discuss your conditions online or over the phone first to assess what would be most appropriate for you. In addition, consultations are being offered online or over the phone. This can be a convenient and flexible way to receive healthcare, but if you would prefer to see a GP or nurse in person, then this will be arranged for you if it is appropriate and safe.

Please be assured that while things are different, and will be for some time to come, the changes introduced over the past 6 months are there to keep patients and staff safe and to ensure waiting times are minimised.

Here’s a few facts to show that Lambourn Surgery really is Open for Business. During the month of September for the practice population of 6700 patients;

They carried out 1041 face to face appointments with a GP or nurse (up 16% since August)

They had a total of 753 phone calls between a patient and a GP

They have carried out 12 home visits to patients in the community

They have carried out

  • 215 blood tests
  • 25 long term condition reviews
  • 44 cervical smears
  • 320 e-consultations

They have processed

  • 2427 prescriptions
  • 1607 hospital letters
  • 2232 website requests

Flu Vaccinations. Eligible patients should now be aware of the schedule for flu clinics or the way in which they may receive a flu vaccination this year. If not, then full details are available on the website or by phoning the surgery.

Extended Hours

When lockdown started, extended hours were suspended but are now being reintroduced for the convenience of those at work during the day. The practice will provide appointments one evening a week until 8pm and on alternate Saturday mornings. Lambourn is working with its network partners in Hungerford and Kintbury so that every evening, from Monday to Thursday, patients of all three surgeries will be able to access an appointment in the evening. Kintbury will provide 2 evenings per week and Lambourn and Hungerford will provide one. Saturday morning cover will also be provided between the three surgeries, so will be open for appointments every Saturday morning. Friday evenings and Sundays are covered under a separate service currently provided by Burdwood surgery in Thatcham. This service will commence on November 1st.

Something Not Right? The PPG are aware that during the pandemic a lot of changes have been made to the ways in which patients deal with the surgery and although these have always been with the best intentions and for the safety of patients and practice staff things sometimes go wrong. Feel free to discuss your general concerns with any PPG member, who will use the information in our dialogue with the practice team. However, if you have a specific complaint that requires attention then, in order for it to be effectively investigated, you should use the Complaints procedure that will ensure that it is looked into. In the first instance contact the Practice Manager, Louise Murray-Clarke on 01488 674033 or email at Needless to say that compliments and plaudits will also be welcome!

You can contact the PPG via email; or in writing via the surgery office (Bockhampton Road, Lambourn, RG17 8PS) addressed to the Chairman of the PPG.

September 2020 report:

Covid19 remains the biggest challenge for our surgery and along with the wider NHS they are planning for the winter months. COVID symptoms are very similar to flu and the common cold, which brings its own challenges. In preparation for this, the surgery is being divided into two parts. Two rooms which can be kept separate from the rest of the building, will be used to see patients face to face who have COVID like symptoms. This will be known as the “Hot Hub”. There will be a GP dedicated to this area for their shift. This doctor will not be in physical contact with the rest of the surgery staff and will follow strict infection control procedures when leaving the area. During the peak of the pandemic, “Hot” patients were referred to a “Hot Hub” in Newbury. This has now closed but should we see a second wave, this could be reinstated.

Patients are asked to ensure that if they develop COVID symptoms, to book a test as soon as possible. If they need to be seen face to face by a GP then they will be seen in the surgery Hot Hub. Under no circumstances should a patient attend the surgery without an appointment if they have any of the recognised COVID symptoms.

Routine work at the surgery and in the wider NHS is still way behind where it would normally be. Clinic rooms need to be cleaned each time a patient is seen face to face, which means the number of appointments on offer has fallen by approximately one third, especially with the nursing appointments, where not much can be done over the phone.

The new online forms on the website have helped to keep waiting times reasonable, but both patients and staff are still learning the new system. Please be patient and trust that the safety of staff and patients is at the heart of everything the surgery does.

Flu Clinics for the 65 plus age group (which forms the majority of eligible patients) will be held at the Lambourn Sports Club on the 17th and the 31st of October. The clinics will be held all day, and to assist with social distancing, patients will be asked to attend at specific times according to their surname. On arriving patients will be presented with a coloured card and asked to remain in their car until their colour is called forward. The wearing of face coverings will be mandatory.

There will be a further satellite clinic to be held in Great Shefford Village Hall. This will be for the residents of East Garston, Great Shefford and further East. This will run on Saturday 24th October from 8.30 until 10.30.

The rest of the eligible patients will be contacted individually by the surgery to attend clinics held at the surgery. There is an additional cohort of patients this year, the 50-64 group, and household members of patients who were advised to shield. These vaccinations cannot start until November when the Department of Health should have sufficient stock of the vaccine to meet the demand.

You will not need to book for these clinics, just come at the publicised time according to your name. These details will be published nearer the time.


Hospitals, like GP surgeries are now trying to deal with the backlog of work caused by the redeployment of NHS staff and wards to the COVID peak. Routine hospital appointments are, and will continue for some time to be delayed, as work is prioritised. Please understand that this situation is out of the surgery’s control. Routine work has restarted, but it will be some time before we are back to pre-covid waiting times. Urgent referrals such as cancer referrals, still follow a 2 week wait fast track process. That has remained unchanged throughout the pandemic.

You can contact the PPG via email; or in writing via the surgery office (Bockhampton Road, Lambourn, RG17 8PS) addressed to the Chairman of the PPG.

August 2020 report:

Lambourn Surgery have recently changed their appointment booking process to one based upon an online form. The announcement is below

“In order for us to help you with any health problem more efficiently and safely, and deal with the surge of demand following the easing of lockdown, we are introducing a new way of making an appointment. From now on appointment requests will need to be completed online via the surgery website. . From the front page, select the “Consulting Room” and then “Get help for any health problem”. Within 2-3 working hours of submitting the form, any appointment requests will be viewed by a doctor and they will respond. This will be either a telephone call, a request for you to make an appointment (face to face or telephone) or the doctor will resolve it with you online. Please do not worry if you do not have, or are unable to use the internet, you can phone the surgery and we will complete the form with you on your behalf. The form can also be completed on your behalf by a relative, carer or advocate.

This will really help us to manage the current level of demand in the most efficient and safe way, and will enable you to contact us at any time. Your health concern will be assessed by a doctor within 3 working hours, rather than waiting for the next available appointment or trying to get through on the telephone. We really appreciate your continued co-operation with the changes we have had to introduce in such short timescales during this pandemic and want to provide our assurance that any developments we make are intended to improve our service to you and keep both our staff and patients safe in these times.”

The efficacy of this process is being closely monitored by both the surgery staff and the PPG. Please let us know of your experiences.

A reminder that PPG member Phil Wright and his racing colleague Emma Grainger, are shortly taking part in a 24-hour sponsored bike ride from London to Paris. This is in support of Naomi House Children’s Hospice and the Lambourn Surgery Amenities Fund. If you would like to sponsor them, then you can do so through this web page.

Lambourn Pharmacy is working with UK SAYS NO MORE and has signed up to their Safe Spaces scheme.  If you are experiencing domestic abuse, they understand that home is not safe.  If you are experiencing mental health issues, especially during lockdown they understand your anxiety. The pharmacy consultancy room is designated as a Safe Space for anyone seeking support in these circumstances. Simply go to the healthcare counter and ask to use the “Safe Space”.  Staff will show you to the designated area, where all the information you need will be available to access and you can make a call to specialist services safely.  Even if all you need is a calm place to sit for a while, the Safe Space is open for you to use.

The Flu season will soon be upon us and even more people will be eligible for the vaccine. In order to be safe and effective, alternative venues for the clinics are being investigated. Please watch out for the dates of the clinics which will start in September.

You can contact the PPG via email; or in writing via the surgery office (Bockhampton Road, Lambourn, RG17 8PS) addressed to the Chairman of the PPG.

July 2020 report:

The PPG has restarted activities following the easing of lockdown and has held its latest meeting online. This meeting saw the appointment of a new management committee; Alan Breadmore as Chair, Joy Gardner as Vice Chair and Peter Cox as Secretary. They are committed to energise the PPG so that it can continue to fulfil its role as a “critical friend to the surgery”. In particular they will be supporting the surgery team through the transition in the coming months to the “new normal” in their working practices.

Initial appointments at the surgery continue to operate via telephone or website contact form only. When it is necessary to attend the surgery, for a pre-arranged face to face appointment, face coverings should be worn; please also note the new parking arrangements and the one-way system operating in the building. Prescriptions from the dispensary may now be collected at the hatch.

The latest Covid–19 information is available on the NHS England website.

As we highlighted earlier in the year the NHS cannot always provide everything and that is why Lambourn Surgery has had an Amenities Fund for some years. The Amenities Fund is a registered charity and, in the past, has funded additional health care facilities for the surgery and community. As joint trustees of the fund, the PPG have been looking at ways of fundraising and have enrolled in the charitable donation programme. If you shop online at amazon, they will donate 0.5% of your spend (excluding VAT and shipping) to the Amenities Fund, at no cost to you. Prices and terms and conditions are the same as the normal amazon website. It is straightforward to use; when making a purchase just login to your amazon account via and enter “Lambourn Surgery Amenities Fund” as your selected charity. This is a great opportunity for you to support community healthcare at no cost to you. We’ll keep you informed of progress.

You can contact the PPG via email; or in writing via the surgery office (Bockhampton Road, Lambourn, RG17 8PS) addressed to the Chairman of the PPG.

June 2020 report:

After a brief sojourn during the lockdown, Lambourn Surgery Patient Participation Group are reengaging in order to support patients and the surgery. All evidence that I have seen suggests that the surgery has done a magnificent job during these difficult times. It has been an incredible task for the surgery to adapt and review practices and procedures in order to maintain the health of the population whilst keeping staff and patients safe. It is arguable, therefore, that there could be no better time for the PPG to support the practice in reviewing these new working practices and plan for the future. Thus, we will be restarting this work with the surgery over the coming months.

Lambourn Surgery appointments continues to operate via telephone only.

The latest Covid–19 information is available on the NHS England website.

Sadly, there appears to be an upsurge in scam phone calls / emails / texts / websites masquerading under the “Test and Trace” banner. These are usually seeking fees and bank details and, in some case, personal details. Please note that the NHS Covid-19 test is free for those eligible and that there are no fees for the Test and Trace service.

The following is a summary of the key points about Test and Trace from NHS England.

You’ll be contacted by email, text or phone.

Text messages will come from the NHS. Calls will come from 0300 0135000.

You’ll be asked to sign in to the NHS Test and Trace contact tracing website at

If you cannot use the contact tracing website, they will call you.


The NHS Test and Trace service WILL NOT:

  • ask for bank details or payments
  • ask for details of any other accounts, such as social media
  • ask you to set up a password or PIN number over the phone
  • ask you to call a premium rate number, such as those starting 09 or 087

You can contact the PPG via email; or in writing via the surgery office (Bockhampton Road, Lambourn, RG17 8PS) addressed to the Chairman of the PPG.

April 2020 report:

Inevitably the COVID 19 virus is at the centre of most healthcare conversations at the moment. However, the picture is constantly changing and the surgery advise that the best source of information is the government advice available in the press and TV. The surgery is rigorously following the Public Health England and Dept of Health guidance on this matter. Information is available on the surgery website, the phone answering message and on a noticeboard in the surgery. They recommend that if individual advice is required then the NHS 111 service be used. Since the phone lines are very busy, they suggest that you will get a faster response from the NHS 111 online service as below.

All surgeries and clinics are running as normal. It’s worth a reminder that the surgery offers both doctor and nurse appointments on two Saturdays per month. This is primarily to help working people attend for routine check-ups and screening. One example of how these appointment slots may be used is for cervical screening (smear test). Currently, in the lower age groups (25-49), the local uptake rate is only 75% which is below the desired target of 80%

Last month we described the essential support that the Surgery Amenities fund provides to the Surgery and we are delighted to announce further news on that front. Using funds raised with support from the PPG, a Blood Pressure machine will shortly be installed in the waiting room. This will enable patients to take their own blood pressure while in the surgery without an appointment. They will be able to produce a print out which can be handed in at reception so that their patient record may be updated.

On the fundraising side, we are grateful and pleased to announce that Phil Wright and his colleague, Emma Grainger, from an Upper Lambourn stables are taking part in a 24-hour sponsored bike ride from Greenwich Observatory, London to Notre Dame, Paris using the “Avenue Verte” route which was established at the time of the London Olympics.

Phil is the racing industry representative on the PPG and they are doing this equally in support of Naomi House Children’s Hospice and the Lambourn Surgery Amenities fund. If you would like to sponsor Phil and Emma, then you can do so through his justgiving web page.

Indeed, if you would like to join them in their adventure then please contact the PPG as below and we will pass on your details.

You can contact the PPG via email; or in writing via the surgery office (Bockhampton Road, Lambourn, RG17 8PS) addressed to the Chairman of the PPG.

March 2020 report:

Recently surgery reception staff have been trained to assist patients to navigate health and social care services both at the surgery and within the local area. This process is called signposting. When you talk to reception staff they may well ask a few questions about the reason for your request/call/visit. Rest assured, they are not being obstructive or nosy but have been trained to help you obtain the most effective and appropriate service. If they have any doubt regarding the urgency or appropriate action then a clinician will contact you to assess further. Sometimes it may also seem that you have to wait an excessive amount of time to see a doctor but this process is designed to ensure that you receive the most appropriate support and indeed may result in accelerated attention by the most appropriate person. Nationwide this approach has shown approximately 5% reduction in GP appointments and thus a reduction in waiting times for patients,whilst still meeting their needs.

For those with access to the Internet then there are also several other ways in which your healthcare needs can be supported. Did you know that through the online services facility you can make appointments, order your repeat prescription and even gain access to your medical records? You will need to register for this service using the form available at reception or from

However there is no need to register to access the Lambourn Surgery website where there is a wide range of health related information. Examples include advice re minor illnesses and guidance regarding travel health. You can even ask for non urgent advice from a doctor or nurse without the need for an appointment. Take a look at all of these facilities on the surgery website.

The NHS cannot always provide everything and that is why Lambourn Surgery has had an Amenities Fund for some years. The Amenities Fund is a registered charity and in the past has often funded health care facilities for the surgery and community. Examples have included a contribution to most of the community defibrillators in the Valley. More recently the purchase of a centrifuge for the surgery has enabled a more effective blood testing  process enabling blood test appointments to be scheduled throughout the day instead of only during the morning. The application of funds is governed by trustees from the PPG and the surgery and needless to say they are always looking for new sources of funding. Traditionally this has come from contributions from local fund raising activities, benefactors and legacies. If you would like to contribute or know of a potential funding source please contact the trustees via the PPG.

February 2020 report:

We are delighted that our communications initiative appears to have been well received. This news briefing is now included in print publications, community websites and email newsletters throughout the valley. We also have a regular slot on 4LEGS Radio. If you know of any communications medium that would like to include surgery news then please contact the PPG as below. In particular we would like to reach out to those who do not have computer access, so we are happy to provide printed copies for noticeboards, community areas etc.

As reported last month Dr Wanless and Dr Marriage have joined the practice and Dr Wallage has now left.  As there have been a couple of changes to our doctors in recent months some patients will now have a different doctor who is accountable for their care. This does not prevent you from requesting a doctor of your choice when you make an appointment.  If you would like to know which doctors list you are allocated to please contact the surgery via the contact form on the surgery website.

We are now well into the Flu season. Nationally the uptake of the Flu vaccination has been falling, increasing the risk of the spread of the virus. Locally 27% of over 65s and 55% of other eligible adults remain unvaccinated. The uptake amongst pregnant women and those with diabetes is low this year. The national supply issues of the vaccine are now resolved. The vaccination is free and recommended yearly for those most at risk from flu.

This includes

  • children aged 2 to 9 years old*
  • pregnant women
  • anyone living with a long-term medical condition
  • everyone aged 65 and over
  • people with caring responsibilities

If you fall into any of the above groups please contact the surgery as soon as possible to book your vaccination on 01488-72299.

*Please note that school aged children will receive their vaccination at school, only requests for 2-3 year olds need to contact the surgery.

For more information please visit:

Missed Appointments continue to be a cause for concern for our medical team. On average 55 Doctor appointments and 45 Nurse appointments are missed each month. The cost of such lost time is often mentioned in the press but the key implication is the lost opportunity for others requiring appointments. Please help to reduce the number of missed appointments at Lambourn Surgery by letting them know if your appointment is no longer needed. Did you know that you can get text reminders sent to your phone for appointments at Lambourn Surgery? You can sign up for this service by completing a form at reception or online at If you are a carer or family member you can receive these reminders on behalf of someone who does not have or is unable to use a mobile phone, please contact reception. The surgery will need the patient’s written consent

If you have any ideas for improving communications or other aspects of the Lambourn Surgery service please let us know. You can contact the PPG via email; or in writing via the surgery office addressed to the Chairman of the PPG.

January 2020 report:

This month the surgery welcomes back Dr Sarah Marriage to the surgery team. Dr Marriage was a doctor in training here in 2015. Dr Marriage will be working on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays.
Sadly on another note, Dr Wallage will be leaving us on the 31st December.
Dr Zoe Wanless will be joining the team from 3rd January; working Monday, Wednesday and Friday; she was also a doctor in training here in 2017. If you are a patient of Dr Wallage you will be transferred to one of the new doctor’s patient lists, this does not prevent you from requesting a doctor of your choice when you make an appointment.  Please make Dr Marriage and Dr Wanless welcome as they start their careers here in Lambourn and wish Dr Wallage well for his future career.

Please remember to order your repeat medication in good time. The dispensary needs 3 working days to process your requests and in the couple of weeks leading up to Christmas it may take longer as patients order in advance. Please order as follows:

  • Requested Monday – ready Thursday
  • Requested Tuesday – ready Friday
  • Requested Wednesday – ready Monday
  • Requested Thursday – ready Tuesday
  • Requested Friday – ready Wednesday

We hope that this article gives you a better understanding of how the PPG works with the Surgery and we encourage you to share ideas about how we can help the surgery provide outstanding service. One note of caution however, personal matters and individual complaints should be taken up directly with the surgery. You can contact the PPG via email ( or in writing via the surgery office addressed to the Chairman of the PPG.

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