We Need You!
We represent all patients and we love your help!
Your feedback helps us maintain high standards of care within the Rothschild House Group surgeries and in the wider NHS services we all use. All patients have valuable feedback to share which can be done by emailing us email@example.com or by writing to us addressing the envelope to the PPG and leaving it at one of the surgeries’ receptions.
The Patient Participation Group [PPG] is independent but works in a close and positive partnership with the Rothschild House Surgery [RHS] Group. All its members are volunteers and RHS Group patients. The PPG speaks for patients, bringing their concerns and experiences forward to influence the way care is delivered. One of the GPs, usually Dr. Jon Hykin and a member of the Management Team attend PPG meetings. It is not a forum for individual complaints which are resolved by a robust separate process – see the complaints policy.
It is important that the PPG represents all patients of the RHS Group, so we have recruited some members from The New Surgery (TNS) which previously had no PPG. However, we need more members aged 20 to 45 years with young families to represent this group of patients.
We have set up a champion system where individual PPG members speak up for particular groups. So far we have been able to represent those with long term conditions, carers, the disabled and vulnerable and those with dementia.
The PPG also feeds into the wider NHS network in Dacorum and beyond providing patient voices and influencing the way services develop, particularly across borders into Buckinghamshire. We also played a part when the practice was inspected in 2017 by the Care Quality Commission (CQC).
This is an update on our activities since our September newsletter. We are pleased to report two new recruits to the Patient Participation Group (PPG) since our last newsletter, David Griffiths and Susan Pettifer from The New Surgery (TNS). Anyone with an interest in helping to support health services in our area, and ensuring the patients’ voice is heard, is welcome to contact us, either via email firstname.lastname@example.org or in writing care of one of the surgeries’ reception desks, marking the envelope for the attention of the Patient Participation Group. However, please note we cannot take up individual complaints which should in the first instance be addressed to the organisation concerned.
At our last PPG meeting, Tring Town Councillor, Chris Townsend, joined us. We had a constructive discussion about the impact of new housing on local health services amongst other topics. It was agreed that we would all work together to ensure that the authorities take into account new housing throughout the surgery’s catchment area, including Buckinghamshire, when developing local future health service plans.
Lastly, I’d like to thank the surgery for once again for renewing our membership of the National Association for Patient Participation N.A.P.P.).
The New Surgery (TNS)
The feedback from TNS patients, continues to be quite positive. As previously reported, The New Surgery is one of the venues for the new Dacorum Extended Hours appointments. These appointments have to be booked by telephone during normal surgery hours and are intended for those who have difficulty attending routine appointments during normal surgery hours, not emergencies – see Out of Hours paragraph below.
Remember that Rothschild House Surgery patients (not The New Surgery) can also book appointments at Markyate, which is about a thirty minute drive from Tring, if their preferred GP is there. This is one of the options in the online Patient Access system.
Electronic Prescription Service (EPS)
Some of you may have read about plans to introduce Electronic Prescriptions, these plans have been postponed by Rothschild House until next year to ensure that the change is as smooth as possible.
New Musculoskeletal Services
We are continuing to hear reports that some patients are experiencing delays to assessments and treatment when receiving referrals to Connect, the new provider of Musculoskeletal services (MSK). The surgery is now providing patients with letters containing full details of their referral and who to contact in case of queries.
New Patient Communication System – Bucks NHS Healthcare Trust
At the September PPG meeting we received a presentation from Jason Foster, General Manager for Patient Communications at Bucks NHS Healthcare Trust, which manages several health operations including Stoke Mandeville, Wycombe and Amersham hospitals. The Trust is introducing a new system of patient communications for those with booked hospital appointments and who are registered to receive text alerts. Instead of the old posted printed letter a text message is sent with a link to a secure patient portal together with a personal PIN number. When the patient clicks on the link and enters their PIN they will be able to view full details of their appointment and make any changes required. If the patient doesn’t click the link within 24 hours a printed letter is automatically posted to the patient’s address. You can see a YouTube demonstration of the system at this link – www.youtube.com.
The surgery has a new designated Carer Champion, Tracey Butler. If you are a carer for someone and registered with the Rothschild House Group and haven’t registered as a Carer already, we encourage you to do so. Once registered as a Carer there are a range of support services which Tracey can outline to you, including a weekly drop-in session, on Mondays, at Rothschild House, to address any concerns or problems. Contact the surgery for further information.
At a recent meeting with surgery staff, it was emphasised that patients themselves should follow up any referral appointments made to outside hospitals or clinics, as the referring GP is not informed of the progress of any referral until or unless any test results are received. If for any reason you don’t have the details of the organisation/unit to which you have been referred request this from the surgery.
A new digital telephone system has been introduced at The New Surgery, which will provide greater capacity and room for expansion. Once proven there it is planned to roll it out at the other surgeries. Note: if you are calling the Rothschild House surgery, Mondays and Fridays are always the busiest times and there are usually 7 or 8 staff on duty from 8am on Mondays, but even so there may be delays during especially busy periods. Please try to call outside these times or use online services, if possible.
New Community (i.e. more local) services are being introduced in 2019, ophthalmology first then Ears, Nose & Throat (ENT) and Dermatology. More details later.
Unused Medicines Campaign
A new campaign by Herts Valley Clinical Commissioning Group (HVCCG) and others called ‘Open the Bag’ Campaign has been launched. Every year across Hertfordshire and west Essex, an estimated £7m of unused medicines are wasted. Research suggests that prescription medicines are sometimes over-ordered ‘just in case’ they run out – leading to very expensive and potentially dangerous stockpiles of medicines in the home that have a limited life. Some patients are also reluctant to tell their GP that they have stopped taking medicines that have been prescribed for them, which could lead to serious health problems. See https://www.healthierfuture.org.uk/news/2018/november/will-you-look-bag-and-help-us-reduce-medicines-waste for more details.
Out Of Hours Services
Out of hours services are whenever the surgeries are closed and patients should call 111 for advice, unless it is a medical emergency when a 999 call should be made. From recent personal experience 111 can be a very effective service, with a duty GP making a call-back and, if required, an appointment made at an out of hours GP clinic such as West Herts Medical Centre. You can also access 111 online – https://111.nhs.uk/ . This requests you to answer questions about your main symptoms and provides advice on where to go locally for help and when, or a call back from a nurse will be arranged. It will also tell you what to do if you can’t see your usual doctor or dentist.
We welcome feedback!
We believe that patients have useful ideas and feedback to share so please feel free to contact us either using the email address email@example.com or write to us and mark your envelope Attention PPG.
Keep the conversation going between doctors, the NHS and patients!
George Edwards, Chair
Rothschild House Patient Participation Group
PPG MEMBERSHIP LIST Face to face members (attending meetings every 6-8 weeks)
George Edwards [Chair]
John Allan [Vice Chair]
Margaret Cooper (TNS)
David Griffiths (TNS)
Roger Sheppard (TNS)
VIRTUAL PPG Members (in contact with the group by email)
Susan Pettifer (TNS)