Patient Participation Group

If any GS resident wishes to have an issue raised at the PPG, then please send an email to geoff_fowler@yahoo.com 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.

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

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; ppgchairpersonlambourn@gmail.com 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. www.lambournsurgery.co.uk . 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. https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/philip-wright-51?utm_id=62

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; ppgchairpersonlambourn@gmail.com 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.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

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 smile.amazon 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 www.smile.amazon.co.uk 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; ppgchairpersonlambourn@gmail.com 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.

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

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 https://contact-tracing.phe.gov.uk

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

Important

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; ppgchairpersonlambourn@gmail.com 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.

https://111.nhs.uk/covid-19

https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/

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.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/philip-wright-51?utm_id=62

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; ppgchairpersonlambourn@gmail.com 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 www.lambournsurgery.co.uk/navigator/register-for-online-services/

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. www.lambournsurgery.co.uk

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. www.lambournsurgery.co.uk

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: www.nhs.uk/flujab

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 www.lambournsurgery.co.uk/navigator/change-of-personal-details/. 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; ppgchairpersonlambourn@gmail.com 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 (ppgchairpersonlambourn@gmail.com) or in writing via the surgery office addressed to the Chairman of the PPG.

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