PPG Meeting minutes July 2023

Chair: Adrian Pitts & Minute taker: Sarah Baker


  • Sarah Baker (SB)
  • Adrian Pitts (AP)
  • Arlene Hansell (AH)
  • Robert Cresswell (RC)
  • Peter and Patricia Williams (PW)
  • Rueben Lewis (RL)
  • Laura Phipp (LP)


  • Andy Mackie
  • Helen Bancroft
  • Andrew Stanley
  • Lynn Fitzjohn
  • Winsome Mapp
  • Julia Wakeham


  • LP was welcomed and introduced to the group. Laura is a retired surgeon and lives locally with her two dogs and family nearby AP opened the meeting as his first as Chair.

Minutes of last meeting

  • Agreed apart from a few typing errors these were agreed SB will address the errors. SB to action/post agreed version on website

Matters arising

  • Woodlands Facebook page (FB) discussed. A wealth of information has gone onto the page. Agreed Primary Care Network (PCN) details should be posted; First Contact Physio (FCP) to be reposted; Social prescribers etc. AP agreed to do a poster (SB to provide information). AP to action AP cross posts all Woodlands Health Centre (WHC) FB posts onto Paddock Wood Neighbourhood Watch. AP will let the group have details. RL suggested other mediums such as Front Door. Agreed RL could repost on Front Door. RL to give details. Action: Engagement online etc. to be focus agenda item next time (SB)
  • Flu season discussed. PPG members keen to support the surgery in assisting with the flu clinics. SB advised the decision regarding co-administrating COVID and flu has not yet been made. Flu clinics will start in September and posters will go up nearer the time.

Actions since the last meeting

  • PPG Awareness Week 2023: AP had promoted the PPG Awareness week. Posts were made on FB and AP put posters up in the Library and Butchers. Town Crier magazine kindly published details of the PPG awareness week free of charge.
  • AP attended the PPG Chairs meeting which focused on Integrated Neighbourhood Teams and developing patient and resident forums. They are seeking views between May and November with regards to patients navigating effectively to the care they need. PPG chairs agreed this was over complicated.
  • Tunbridge Wells Older Persons Forum are looking for engagement with difficulties with telephone triage, waiting time to be seen and digital working. The group agreed repeat prescribing has improved along with the ambulance service.8 practices were represented sharing PPG approaches including engagement and representation.
  • RL suggested local MP Greg Clark could be approached as a representative. AP will approach him. Current PPG member Andrew Mackie is a Town Councillor who could keep the PPG in closer relationship with Paddock Wood Town Council (PWTC). Action: Bring back to the next meeting to see if he could attend.
  • Pedestrian Crossing on the main road. AP had approached PWTC Highways Improvement Panel (HIP) via the clerk. The clerk reported that KCC had refused an earlier application but is aware many more people do cross the road there and it is not a safe place to cross. The clerk will ask for it to be re visited by the HIP.

Woodlands Update 

Recruitment: GP who was supposed to be starting in August unfortunately did not pass his exam. Hopefully he will start in October/November. In the meantime locums will cover the list of patients.

Car parking management: This is going well after a few teething problems. Woodlands does not get involved in the fine process. The company makes their money from the fines. There was no charge to the Health Centre to set up or administer the system. Patients have reported many more parking spaces being available.

Carers’ Tea Party: Prior to COVID WHC was going to host a carers tea party. This had to be cancelled. It has been rescheduled for Monday 25th September 3-4.30. SB asked if the PPG could provide some cakes. The PPG members offered to help on the day. SB thanked the members and will email nearer the time. Poster to go up in reception and will also go on the FB page. Invites have been send to all those on our carers’ register (approx 140). RL will mention this to the Lions Club. Carer’s packs are available in reception. Action: SB to email PPG members at the start of September a reminder

Improvements: We have a new facility to send patients a text/SMS message that enables them to book an appointment directly without ringing the surgery. Hopefully this will reduce the traffic on our phone lines. E-consult also reduces traffic on the phones. E-consult referrals come straight to the surgery admin team and are dealt with in the same time frame as a phone call. They are triaged and sent to the most appropriate person. The patient is then sent a text informing them what action has been taken. E-consult is on the front page of our website

Actions from the last meeting

  • Covid Spring Booster on FB-completed
  • Phone system-bypassing the welcome message of the extension is known-completed-There is no way of bypassing the welcome message. -
  • Minutes of PPG meetings on the website-completed.

Notified business: Website RC

  • RC advised the website is out of date. SB thanked him for his time looking at the website-SB does not always get round to checking the website is up to date so useful to have more pairs of eyes. RC has a friend who went through pages and made notes as to what does not work well and any errors. RC will pass the notes to SB.

Notified business: Medication reviews RC

  • SB advised these messages do sometimes appear on the repeat prescriptions. If the GP wants to see the patient, they will be informed. RC concerned that these reviews are not effective. SB will bring back to the next meeting. SB to action

Notified business: Online Appointments RC

  • RC advised there do not seem to be any appointments available to book online through Patient Access/website. SB replied there are approximately 15% available online. These are not available for GP appointments as many have been booked inappropriately without clinic need. Cervical Screening and Blood tests can be booked online but limited as again these have sometimes been booked inappropriately. Patient access. RC asked if this limitation could be relayed to patients on the online access medium. SB advised unfortunately we are unable to edit the online access website.

Notified business: Use of Email and sending photos RC

  • RC asked about a service his friend uses where they send photos directly to the GP surgery using email. SB thinks this is more than likely E-consult. Photos can also be sent via a link on Accurx, the texting platform that is used at WHC.


  • AP asked if there has been any feedback from the pharmacy leaflets regarding the navigation of care needed. SB replied not that she is aware.
  • RL-noticed in Paddock Wood chemist a petition to “Save your Pharmacy” SB will email the leaflet to the PPG members. Agreed if this closes it will put pressure on WHC.
  • PW asked about the phones and the call back system. The call back comes into effect when there are 10 people waiting in the queue. PW did not think patients are told their position in the queue. SB reassured they are. Regardless of how many people are in the queue patients are notified of their position
  • AH has concerns regarding the length of time it takes to get through to the surgery on the phone. SB advised it can take a while on occasions. Booking an appointment is a very quick process but sometimes booking an appointment is not the only service patients need and this slows down answering the calls. SB suggested e-consult and using links if they have been sent one to book appointments.
  • AP asked about LF query re NHS Health Checks. SB will forward the email response she had from Kent Community Health Trust to all the members that was sent to Lynn as the article mentioned was in error concerning blood sugar level testing.
  • PW asked about Abbey Court treatment. SB confirmed Abbey Court follow up their own patients. RC advised he had dropped off their radar and suggested if PW thinks she has dropped off and needs their input to ring Abbey Court. AP raised concerns about the separate communication systems used for diabetic patients.
  • RL is a new member of the Lions Club in Paddock Wood. He kindly delivered some “Message in a Bottle” pots to WHC. These are pots you put in your fridge with your medical information on a form. A sticker goes on your fridge door to alert paramedics to its presence. It has saved lives.
  • AH asked about the chargeable services offered on Patient Access. SB and LP confirmed these services are not connected to WHC.
  • PW asked LP if she found her first PPG meeting useful, which LP did.
  • Positive feedback: AP was impressed with the quick call back from Dr Turner after triage. RC was very impressed with Bex, the new paramedic after a home visit for a relative.

Date of next meeting

  • Monday 23rd October 2023 6pm