Patient Participation Group

The Aims of the Patient Participation Group

  • To offer opinions in a constructive manner and to put forward ideas on behalf of other patients.
  • To improve the provision of health care.
  • To improve communication between surgery, patients and the wider community about matters concerning the surgery and health in general.
  • To provide assistance in development of new services.
  • To encourage a spirit of self help and support amongst patients to improve their health and social care.

Getting Your View

The group would like to contact patients on occasion by email and/or text so that they can obtain the views of the widest group of patients possible. We would like to obtain your email address and mobile phone number to do this. Please complete the Patient Contact Form to provide your consent for this.

Summer 2022 Newsletter

You Said We did
We have to dial lots of times because the phones are engaged We have upgraded our phone system
We would like to prebook doctor appointments, including face to face We are changing our appointment system to give patients a choice of appointment and the ability to prebook appointments
It is difficult getting to see a doctor We already offer more doctor time than the national average. We are employing more doctor time each week
There is a long wait to see a nurse We have advertised for another health care assistant and in the meantime are looking for locum nursing staff

Appointment Changes

At the start of the pandemic, the government required that all appointments be triaged first. From June 20th we are reintroducing the option of face to face prebookable appointments with a GP up to 2 weeks in advance.

No appointment system suits everyone, and no matter how many appointments we offer, it will never be enough to fully meet every request to be seen. The pandemic has taught everyone that things can be done differently, so we have been reflecting on the changes that were good and those that were best suited for the pandemic.

We are going to keep phone calls as the default option, because we have learnt that a lot of queries can be dealt with by phone, saving patients time, as well as being better for the environment. From 20th June, when you book an appointment you will also have the option to ask for a prebooked appointment to be a video call or in person instead of a phonecall.

We have also seen the value of practices working as a team alongside pharmacists, physios and mental health services. The receptionists will continue to ask for the reason for the call, so they can direct patients to the right person at the right time.
From 20th June, we will not be offering same day appointments except for medical problems that can’t wait until the next prebooked one. There will still be a duty doctor, but almost all of our on-the-day triage slots will be converted back to pre-bookable ones.

New Telephone System

At the end of April we upgraded our phone system to allow an unlimited number of lines, a phone queue, phone back and caller ID.
When we moved into the new building we invested in a completely new digital phone system, and we added extra phone lines at the start of the pandemic to manage the new way of working. This system allowed us to cope with the extra outgoing phone calls, but didn’t do much to stop patients having to redial repeatedly because of an engaged tone.

So, we have upgraded the system to give our patients a much better and fairer experience. We now have unlimited incoming and outgoing phone lines, along with the ability for staff to work more efficiently from home if they are well but still having to self isolate (the COVID rules still apply to us). When you ring, you will join a queue and your call will be answered in turn. If there is a long queue, your telephone provider may still charge you whilst you wait, so our system will offer you the option to “save your space” and ring you back as you get near the front; this is a free service we are offering.
To save receptionists time, the system will try to each match phone number with a patient record as they answer the call.

The system also allows us to monitor how many calls we have and at what the busy times of the day are - we will use this information in the next few months to think about how to reduce the waiting time to answer calls.

Getting the most of the surgery: Prescription requests

Wherever possible, please save phoning the prescription line unless you have a query or problem with your prescription. For a simple order, please use our online services via the NHSApp (not the COVID app), complete an econsult or drop a request into reception.

Hello and Goodbye

Over the summer we look forward to welcoming two new doctors to our team, increasing our current levels by 5 doctor days per week. We will also sadly say goodbye to Sr Jen McGonnell.

We are delighted that Dr Febrina Robinson, who previously trained at the practice, will be returning in June as a salaried doctor, working two days per week. She was very popular when she was here and at interview she had some interesting ideas from other practices she has trained in that we hope to learn from.

Dr James Kane will be joining us 3 days per week as a salaried doctor from September. Dr Kane is currently a registrar at the practice, and when asked about getting the job, said “I’m excited to join the team at Glenpark who I have found to be forward-thinking and patient-centred. I’m especially looking forward to seeing how we can improve things by learning from our pandemic experience.”

Sr McGonnell will be leaving the practice in July to take a post at another local practice. Popular with patients and staff she will be a huge miss to the practice. We wish her all the very best as she continues to extend her skills as a practice nurse. Although she is irreplaceable as a person, her post will be advertised in the near future.

Investing in the future

For many years, the practice has invested in training the next generation of doctors and many of the current staff were previous trainees. So it was exciting to have the opportunity to support Alex Collins, one of our Health Care Assistants (HCA), train to become a practice nurse. In the short term, her appointments are a great miss, particularly since our other health care assistant is on long term sick leave. We have advertised for another health care assistant and are looking for additional health care assistant or phlebotomy locums to help cover the gap in the short term.

Patient Participation Group Minutes


  • March 15th Minutes key discussions: review of pandemic and plans to move forward; introducing appointment system changes; appointment of 2 new doctors; new phone system; CQC inspection update; self check in screen.